Jacobs speaking for all?
What's so funny? This section, which deals with the athletic department's apparel deal with Under Armour:
"It's been fabulous. It's been great for us. And it's been great for Under Armour. And we'll renegotiate that contract with them and hopefully extend that sooner than later."
It doesn't take much searching to find someone at Auburn who isn't thrilled with the apparel deal. Under Armour is a non-player in the world of college basketball, where top prospects become aligned with shoe companies at an early age. College coaches also are aligned with shoe companies -- and there's often a commonality there when players sign with schools.
Dan Wetzel and Don Yaeger wrote an entire book about this subject.
Tony Barbee is a Nike guy. Always has been. Now he's at an Under Armour school that gleefully signed away all flexibility associated with its shoe contract. So Barbee now is, in some ways, the odd man out at prospect camps that often are sponsored/funded by shoe companies.
(Read: Nike and adidas.)
Here's what Barbee had to say about this situation in May:
- Will you have any flexibility with the deal? South Carolina is Under Armour, too, but (Darrin) Van Horn was able to strike an independent deal with Nike.
``The Under Armour deal is an all-school deal. It's already in place. That's where we are."
- Does that complexity to your recruiting tasks?
``It does just from my perspective because I've always been with Nike. All my relationships and contacts are there. In college basketball, unlike any other college sport, show companies have a big influence on where prospects end up. This (the Under Armour deal) adds a different dynamic for me because it's outside my comfort level, where I've been."
- Is there any way you can get out from under that?
``To my understanding, we're with Under Armour through 2015-16. That's a ways down the line."
- Does that create a backlash against you and the program from the Nike people?
``They understand that I have no options, that I have no choice with it. I hope it's not a problem. This business is about relationships -- not just with the sneaker companies. It's recruiting, coaches, AAU coaches, contacts. It's about building relationships and maintaining them. I'll stay close with those people even if Auburn is with with Under Armour. Even though you may not get the first (prospect), you may get the second one. You never want to burn bridges."
Photo credit: Todd Van Emst/Auburn University
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