Marcus Jordan & UCF Pay the Price

Marcus JordanIt was only a matter of time before the University of Central Florida held their first regular season game. Last night, on Wednesday, November 4th, 2009, the University of Central Florida Knights took the floor in an exhibition game.  Marcus Jordan was one of the players that got some playing time.  Marcus was wearing his dad’s latest shoe, which, you know from my initial post on this topic, are Nike, not Adidas.

So, because of that, Adidas wasted no time in handling this matter.  In a statement from Adidas today, they have stated, “The University of Central Florida has chosen not to deliver on their contractual commitment to Adidas, and as a result we have chosen not to continue our relationship with them moving forward.”  This came from Adidas spokeswoman Andrea Corso.  This was sent to The Associated Press in an email this morning.

I bet you would never guess who is not talking about this situation.  UCF has declined to make a statement in regards to this.  They did pony up with this, however.  “We are disappointed to learn that Adidas has chosen to discontinue its relationship with UCF Athletics.  Once we receive official notice we will be able to further respond.”  This statement was released by university spokesman Joe Hornstein.

Marcus, on the other hand, did have this to say, “I only wore my father’s shoes because they hold a special meaning to my family.”

The UCF did have a win that night over the Saint Leo.  But apparently that win was not enough to sway the folks at Adidas.  And I have to say, after having some time to think about this issue more, and seeing not only how Adidas handled this, but how quickly, I am on their side for this.  Sure, the shoes that Marcus was wearing did not matter to anyone else on the floor that night besides himself and Adidas.  But a contract is a contract and Adidas has every right to pull it from that university.

Who is to blame here?  Is it Marcus who is at fault for lacing up those sneakers last night?  Or is it his father’s fault because they were his shoes and had his logo on the side?  Or perhaps the university for allowing Marcus to touch the floor in shoes they had to know were not Adidas?  I think it is a mixture of the three, but more so the university for allowing him to wear those shoes.

This brings up an additional issue, as well.  Did Adidas know before he ran out onto the court last night he was going to wear those shoes?  Did Nike also know that he was planning on doing this and was aware of how Adidas would react to it?  When Adidas pulls the contract and forces the student athletes to all wear something without the Adidas logo on the side, who will come in to replace them?  It would make perfect sense for Nike to do so since Marcus, who carries a lot of weight because of who his father actually is, is going to wear those shoes regardless of what people say.  I wonder what kind of contractual agreements Sam and Alexis will come into contact with.  Their father seems to be Nike for life, but you never know when it comes to dollar bills who your next major sponsor will be.

So I applaud Adidas for taking the right course of action in this and revoking the contract.  They have every right in the world to do so and I am glad that a company like this has stood up for what is in black and white right in front of them.  Not sure this was worth it for the career of Marcus Jordan, but if Nike comes in and sweeps up this college it might just be what the doctor ordered.  Regardless of how you look at this the University of Central Florida is getting a lot of media attention and a ton of publicity out of this.  But is losing a campus wide athletic contract worth it?