Blake Griffin telling Oklahoma Sooners They are "Jordan Brand" is what's wrong with Co
Imagine for a minute you're a college athlete with dreams of playing professionally. And then Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers walks in. Griffin then tells you a "Secret"....they're part of a "Sneaker Brand" and there's a ton of "Schwag" waiting for you.
Of course you're going to be excited. You should be. You should be enjoying all the free, brand new out of the bag sneakers and warmups, socks and shorts. Because when you're in College, anything you don't have to pay for---is the greatest thing ever---that day.
And this is great, I'm genuinely happy for the athletes being able to get gear they can't afford to buy for themselves. (No, despite being on scholarship--most have zero spending money)
But here's the catch....and it's a big one.
This is why the whole scandal currently ensnaring College Basketball exists. This is why there are sneaker companies dictating where Basketball players go to school. This is why under the table payments to coaches happen.
Sure, schools are entitled to spend money to have an official "Outfitter" of their sports teams. There's nothing wrong with that.
The problem becomes when those deals are "Multi-Million" dollars in nature and it now labels the school as an "Adidas" school or a "Nike" school. (ed. note--While Adidas is implicated in the College Hoops scandal--thus far, Nike is NOT)
It seems like the "Sneaker" companies demand full loyalty for their product and that folks is the issue. Yes, if a school pays them $5 million to outfit their players with jerseys, warmups and sneakers---that's fine. But when there are caveats that say only Athletes that wear "Their" brand can come (a basketball issue)....then we have a problem.
College kids---and everyone else should be allowed to "wear" what they want. If they come to an "Adidas" school but have a ton of "Under Armour" gear, they should be allowed to wear both.
Mind you this happens in the pros too with the Olympic and other "All Star" teams where the official "Brand" of said league wants everyone to wear that, no matter who the athletes have a deal with.
Which is the crux (root) of the problem to begin with.....
Yeah, I know---it's a totally "Old School" and not "Free Enterprise" way of thinking but I don't really care. I get it a little better Professionally. Different universe. But now that it runs rampant in College and even High School sports---where everyone is supposed to be an amateur....we've got a whole bigger issue.
A bigger issue that nobody (looking at you NCAA) seems even remotely interested in investigating....