Taking a closer look at the relationship between big-time college athletics and apparel providers

09/29/2017 04:40 PM

On the heels of a federal indictment implicating, but not charging, University of Louisville basketball coaches and an Adidas official in a pay-to-play scheme to land a coveted high school recruit, what will change in the relationship between big-time college athletics and apparel providers?

T.J. Beisner, host of Kentucky Sports Television, says don’t expect much to change unless the NCAA demands it, particularly with some deals running in the nine figures. U of L, for instance, recently inked an extension with Adidas worth $160 million over 10 years.

Even if the NCAA requires schools and apparel companies to alter their contracting processes, Beisner says some programs may opt to leave the NCAA for more lucrative pastures.

“There’s so much money involved,” he said. “We’re coming to a point where a lot of institutions are going to decide whether or not they even want to be a part of the NCAA. John Calipari has talked about this going back several years. Rick Pitino even has spoke of it in the last 12 months, that there’s so much money involved they don’t need the NCAA in a lot of ways.”

As the FBI continues its probe – federal investigators recently subpoenaed employees with Nike’s Elite Youth Basketball League – into corruption involving college athletics and apparel companies, Beisner says looking into the overall recruiting process, and the plethora of coaches and advisors connected to high-profile recruits, is a logical next step.

“There’s been a massive outbreak of financial advisors and business managers in the world of basketball and really now college athletics because everyone now wants a cut of the money,” Beisner said. “There’s so much money. It’s an area that’s new, I think, for the NCAA to try to police. Now that the FBI’s involved and the U.S. attorneys, that’s a big deal. It’s going to open a lot of eyes. That to me is the more intriguing part.”

Watch the entire interview with Beisner here:

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