The Breakdown: What the … ? |

The Breakdown: What the … ?

summit daily news
Summit County, Colorado
Sports editor Bryce Evans

Some things in life confuse me. For instance, I have pretty much no idea why anyone buys small dogs or what the point of capri pants are. (If it’s too hot out for long pants, why not wear shorts?) I also don’t know how people can watch Notre Dame in any sport without instantly feeling nauseous.

I have never claimed to be a genius. So inevitably, certain things come up in life that I definitely don’t understand.

For instance, this past week the University of Central Florida forfeited a possible $3.5 million contract with Adidas because they allowed a freshman player on their men’s basketball team to wear a different type of shoe. These type of endorsement deals with schools require every athlete on every team to use a certain brand of equipment. In this case, UCF already had a deal in place with Adidas and was looking at extending it.

So why did UCF throw away millions of dollars for one kid on only one of the school’s many teams?

The kid’s name happened to be Marcus Jordan, as in the son of Michael Jordan, as in the youngest kid of the best basketball player to ever live. And the shoe in question here was a pair from his dad’s Air Jordan line, which is made by Nike, that Marcus wore in the team’s first exhibition game the other night.

Since Marcus appeared on the court with the “Jump Man” on his sneakers, Adidas said it has withdrawn any offers to endorse the school.

The confusion I have from this story has nothing to do with Adidas being upset – I understand that part of it. What I’m wondering is why UCF would risk millions of dollars on one freshman player, who by all accounts, is simply a solid athlete and not much more than that? Sure his last name happens to be Jordan, but why does that make him above team and university rules?

Marcus’ reasoning for this was that it was a personal matter to wear the shoes that his dad’s name is on. Understandable, but that shouldn’t matter.

Part of being on a team is the idea of being part of one unit, one group that works together for a common goal. Maybe the type of shoe you wear doesn’t seem like a big deal, but it’s just one of the many little things that can influence a team’s chemistry.

Really, it should have never been an option for Marcus to wear anything other than the team’s shoe.

Who knows, maybe the elder Jordan will have his company start sponsoring the school. I’m not sure that would make it any better, but then again, I’m not sure of a lot of things.

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