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KU's shoe deal with Adidas is company's largest total dollar deal; KU ranks fourth in nation

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KU's shoe and apparel deal with Adidas is the fourth largest in the NCAA. (Photo courtesy of Kansas Athletics).

KU's shoe and apparel deal with Adidas is the fourth largest in the NCAA. (Photo courtesy of Kansas Athletics). by Matt Tait

With Adidas being dragged into the FBI investigation into college basketball recruiting practices from the outset and reports of a subpoena connected to Nike’s Elite Youth Basketball League surfacing following further investigation on Wednesday, it seems as if the biggest players in the shoe game that have run AAU basketball during recent years have found themselves smack dab in the middle of what many believe could be the biggest scandal in college sports history.

Add to that the fact that Under Armour, the third face on the Mt. Rushmore of modern shoe and apparel companies, is involved, at least in name, through its connection to Auburn — one of six schools named in the initial findings — and you’re looking at an investigation that, in one way or another, could potentially impact nearly every Power 5 school in the country and many mid-major programs, as well.

At the very least, it seems like major changes are ahead for college basketball, the shoe companies that help fund it and recruiting in general.

With that in mind, here’s a quick glance at the shoe affiliations in the Big 12 Conference, where Kansas is king, both on the court — as shown by its 13 consecutive Big 12 regular season titles — and in the apparel game, with its recently agreed upon contract extension with Adidas for 14 years and $191 million representing the fourth largest shoe and apparel deal in the NCAA, according to ESPN Business Reporter Darren Rovell.

The largest shoe and apparel deals in the NCAA as of September 28, 2017. (Graphic courtesy of ESPN.com)

The largest shoe and apparel deals in the NCAA as of September 28, 2017. (Graphic courtesy of ESPN.com) by Matt Tait

While employees at both Adidas and Nike have been directly linked to the ongoing investigation, it’s worth noting that Rovell also reported on Wednesday that sources close to the FBI’s NCAA bribery scandal told him that no Under Armour executives had been subpoenaed.

To this point, Nike’s EYBL has not been named in the case, but a former employee who ran it, Merl Code, is one of the defendants. Code left Nike for Adidas roughly three years ago and, as outlined in the FBI’s findings, is alleged to have assisted James Gatto, Adidas’ global marketing director, in paying players for their loyalty to Adidas.

In addition, KU officials have said that Gatto had nothing to do with the negotiations of KU's recent extension with Adidas and that the university has not received any inquiries from federal investigators.

While we’re taking a look at which schools sit where, it seems like as good a time as any to remind you of the affiliations within the Big 12 Conference, where all but two of the conference’s 10 members are in partnerships with Nike.

Baylor — Nike; $3.5 million annually (years of contract not available)

Iowa State — Nike; $1.47 million annually through 2024

Kansas — Adidas; $13.64 million annually through 2031

Kansas State — Nike; $1.9 million annually through 2021

Oklahoma — Nike; $3.39 million annually through 2018

Oklahoma State — Nike; $4.37 million annually through 2025

TCU — Nike; $2.9 million annually (years of contract not available)

Texas — Nike; $16.67 million annually through 2031

Texas Tech — Under Armour; $2.55 million annually through 2020

West Virginia — Nike; $4.35 million annually through 2026

• Source for contract information: July 12, 2016 article on Forbes.com

Comments

John Brazelton 3 weeks, 4 days ago

Unless you have a moral compass, things happen when you want to lay with the Big Dogs.

Suzi Marshall 3 weeks, 4 days ago

Everyone says this thing with the shoe companies has been going on for a long time. If that's the case, where has ESPN been with their investigative 'OTL' and other resources? Was ESPN complicit with the shoe companies?

Other things that needs to be investigated are the foreign player market and the 'guardians' situations.

The NCAA can not manage the major collegiate revenue producing sports. Major revenue producing collegiate athletics needs to be revamped. Realignment, playoffs, money distribution, player/coach contracts all need to be reworked.

Sure there are shady deals everywhere but it boggles my mind that people would actually commit criminal acts to land a player.

Aaron Paisley 3 weeks, 3 days ago

Sonny Vacarro, 30 for 30 "Sole Man". This has been going on for decades.

Robert Brock 3 weeks, 4 days ago

The NBA agents stink. There is a lot of money at stake; they will do what they have to do to steer players.

Dirk Medema 3 weeks, 3 days ago

"Land a player" is a rather simplistic view. It is about getting a cut of multi million dollar contacts and the view of being "set for life".

Dirk Medema 3 weeks, 3 days ago

Matt - Do you have the $ for the other programs?

When looking at the $ it is obvious why a downtrodden football team will relegate us to the kiddies' table in conference realignment.

Dirk Medema 3 weeks, 3 days ago

Thanks Matt. Here they are sorted by dollars.

Texas — Nike; $16.67 million annually through 2031

Kansas — Adidas; $13.64 million annually through 2031

West Virginia — Nike; $4.35 million annually through 2026

Oklahoma State — Nike; $4.37 million annually through 2025

Baylor — Nike; $3.5 million annually (years of contract not available)

Oklahoma — Nike; $3.39 million annually through 2018

TCU — Nike; $2.9 million annually (years of contract not available)

Texas Tech — Under Armour; $2.55 million annually through 2020

Kansas State — Nike; $1.9 million annually through 2021

Iowa State — Nike; $1.47 million annually through 2024

Tim Orel 3 weeks, 2 days ago

Why, with such a huge contract, will KU be relegated to the kids table? KU is being carried by the BB program, that's true, but the football program may be down but will have a newly remodeled stadium to go along with KU BB. I think KU is a very valuable property.

Dirk Medema 3 weeks, 3 days ago

I wonder how much of Louisville's $160M they will lose in this fiasco? Does Adidas have an out if they get the death penalty? It would be a bit ironic if it happens because of an Adidas scandal.

Suzi Marshall 3 weeks, 3 days ago

You think Adidas might want a KU - Louisville game, soon in some sort of home-and-home, especially if Cream is named their coach?

Len Shaffer 3 weeks, 3 days ago

I'm shocked at how small an apparel contract Oklahoma has. How is that possible, given their football tradition and that they've generally had a competitive basketball team?

Frederick Heckel 3 weeks, 3 days ago

It wasn't until this round of apparel deals that the money started to flow in. OU's next deal will easily be up in the $250 Million range at the very least.

Dirk Medema 3 weeks, 3 days ago

Great observation, though I'd temper your optimism. Could for will, and $200M for $250M.

It will also be interesting to see what fall out comes from this scandal relative to contract renewals. It could result in some less generous deals, or they could just continue throwing $$$. Apparel companies, universities, and fans.

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