It's true: The university does not have a contract with adidas, as of today.
The agreement with adidas expired June 30.
However, the prior contract with adidas explicitly prohibited the university from negotiating with a third party (such as Nike) regarding the wearing of similar products until the contract expired. Clearly, that happened, because the Nike announcement was made on June 18.
That means, provided there was no secondary agreement (which the university did not provide me a copy of), the university breached its contract with adidas. Perhaps that is why adidas and UA are still negotiating next year's contract.
You can download a copy of the old agreement to see for yourself.
Here are some other notes I have about it...
Contrary to media reports, nowhere in the old contract does it mention that the university is tied to adidas until 2013. However, the contract does have an "agreement to agree," meaning the parties will negotiate in good faith to renew the contract. Adidas also has the right of first refusal, which means it can match Nike's offer, but it probably won't since it sounds like
LeBron James is giving Akron a great deal.
The university must spend $200,000 on adidas merchandise. If it does not, UA is liable for the difference.
However, the university gets A TON of merchandise. Here are some of the most staggering figures: 80 pairs of shoes for administration/coaching staff, 20 pairs of coaching shoes for the football team, and $8,000 of merchandise at retail value at the athletic department's discretion.
The Zips get $10,000 in merchandise if they appear in a bowl game. If they win the MAC East (and appear on ESPN, of course), the team gets $2,000.
Adidas gets a boatload of exposure out of this, including ads in media guides, stadium signs, a link on GoZips.com, PA announcements during home games, radio ads, TV ads, a tent at the football games and four season tickets to both football and men's basketball games.
Obviously, the contract demands that Akron players must wear adidas gear while competing. One exception: where adidas merchandise does not comply with MAC or NCAA rules.
Except for the aforementioned $8,000, the university pays wholesale prices (45 percent off on shoes, 50 percent off on apparel and accessories).
Here are two new scholarship offers...
Notes: Tucker's brother plays offensive tackle for Virginia Tech. He is looking to have fun at college and major in sports medicine. Tucker is HUGE for a safety. Rivals.com is surprised he doesn't have more scholarship offers.
running back, Barrington, Ill.
Offers: Akron and Eastern Michigan
Speed: Not listed
Notes: Ojuri averaged 11 yards per carry as a junior. Akron offered him a scholarship in the spring. The running back plans to make an unofficial visit this summer.