February 11, 2004

Pitt vs. Nike and Clarett’s Effect

Filed under: Uncategorized — Lee @ 2:22 pm

Could somebody who is more familiar with what’s going on explain this article to me?

PITTSBURGH — The University of Pittsburgh wants to drop Nike as the supplier of its football uniforms and equipment.

The university filed a lawsuit Tuesday, asking an Allegheny County judge to determine whether a three-year arrangement proposed two years ago by the Beaverton-based company is a valid contract. Pitt argues it never signed a deal with Nike to provide 100 free uniforms and other gear, even though Nike officials provided the university with the products specified under the contract. Nike officials say that because the school accepted its products, the contract was essentially validated despite the fact that it was not signed.

I guess what I want to know is why did Pitt want to get away from Nike? Dammit, I spent $65 for a Nike “official team” windbreaker this past fall. Maybe Nike was trying to redesign our uniforms to look more like Oregon’s?

On a second note, published an excellent commentary by Ivan Maisel today on how Maurice Clarett’s legal victory over the NFL will affect college football.

If anyone says to you that they know what the effect of the Maurice Clarett decision will be on college football, don’t fall for the play-action. No one knows, and no one will know for years. It took nearly a decade of drafting high school players for the NBA to find one who could step onto the floor without stumbling, and LeBron James still has half a season to go. Yet, no one will question that college basketball has been altered by the opening of the NBA doors to anyone regardless of age. The talent level has dropped. Senior starters are as rare as Kerry Republicans.

However, Maisel kind of winds up coming down on the side of the argument that college football will NOT be affected by early departures to the extent that college basketball has been.

…there is no “hard science” to show that an 18-year-old tailback would be endangered by a 25-year-old defensive end. But there’s an encyclopedia of common sense.

“I see kids who leave high school as good players and they’re 6-foot-3, 230 pounds,” Cash said, “and four years later they are 6-3, 270 pounds of solid muscle and their necks are an inch or two thicker. It would make me nervous if my son were getting hit by a 270-pound lineman who runs a 4.6 40. Basketball is a contact sport. Football is a collision sport.”

So there’s plenty of evidence that college football will suffer no more than a bruise from this latest ruling. It may even help some schools.

“I’m totally against this. It’s unfortunate. But maybe it helps a school like Iowa because we don’t get many of the superstar guys. It might hurt our competition.” –Iowa Head Coach Kirk Ferentz

As a Pitt fan, that would have picked up my spirits a little… that is, if Pitt actually belonged to a stable conference that could attract even mediocre recruits.

I haven’t posted much on Clarett since the decision… mostly because it’s just too painful. Could anybody argue that the Buckeyes would have beaten both Wisconsin and Michigan with him in the lineup? Still, it’s hard to argue that college football players shouldn’t have the freedom to quit school early and get a job like the rest of us have…

I’m still bummed out over that recruiting class. Can anybody tell?

Hail to baseball season taking my mind off of this crap. This year, the Pirates really are going to win it all.

[…] from Nike for all gear (at the time Adidas was already the basketball supplier and other sports and Nike was only the football supplier), that there was some acrimony as Pitt had to file suit to get out of the […]

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