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Under Armour seeking to terminate record-breaking $280-million apparel deal with UCLA

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It’s safe to say that UCLA and Under Armour have some rather significant issues through which to work.

First, a little apparel financial history:

In July of 2015, Michigan’s reported apparel deal with Nike set a then-record of $169 million over 15 years (the final figure came in at just shy of $174 million).

Four months after U-M’s new deal was reported, news surfaced that Texas’ new contract with Nike would be worth $250 million over 15 years.  In January of 2016, Ohio State announced its new deal with Nike, an agreement that would pay that school upwards of $252 million over 15 years.  Four months after that OSU deal?  There was a new record-holder as UCLA, of all schools, reached an agreement with Under Armour, of all companies, on a 15-year, $280 million apparel deal.

Fast-forward more than four years, and the world finds itself in the midst of a coronavirus pandemic.  And, it seems, it’s helped accelerate some spender’s remorse on Under Armour’s part as the apparel company is seeking to terminate its deal with UCLA.

Below is the apparel company’s release:

Under Armour has recently made the difficult decision to discontinue our partnership with UCLA, as we have been paying for marketing benefits that we have not received for an extended time period. The agreement allows us to terminate in such an event and we are exercising that right.

We know this has been a challenging time for athletes, sports programs and apparel brands alike.  Under Armour will continue to preserve our strength in this challenging environment, while maintaining a strong network of partnership with individuals, organizations and leagues that make us the on-field authority for focused performers.

The Pac-12 school, though, won’t go quietly into the apparel night.

“UCLA Athletics learned this week that Under Armour is attempting to terminate its 15-year apparel and footwear contract with us and the Bruin community. We are exploring all our options to resist Under Armour’s actions,” the school’s soon-to-be-retired athletic director, Dan Guerrero, said in a statement. “We remain committed to providing our hard-working staff and student-athletes with the footwear, apparel and equipment needed to train and compete at the highest level, as they — and our loyal Bruin fans — deserve.”

Given the revenue the athletic department will more than likely lose already due to the pandemic, they won’t easily give up this money.

College Football in Coronavirus Quarantine: On this day in CFT history, including four-team playoff being officially approved and Chip Kelly formally being slapped with 18-month show-cause from the NCAA

college football
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The sports world, including college football, has essentially screeched to a halt as countries around the world battle the coronavirus pandemic. As such, there’s a dearth of college football news as spring practices have all but been canceled at every level of the sport. And there’s even some concern that the health issue could have an impact on the 2020 college football campaign.

In that vein, we thought it might be fun to go back through the CollegeFootballTalk archives that stretch back to 2009 and take a peek at what transpired in the sport on this date.

So, without further ado — ok, one further ado — here’s what happened in college football on June 26, by way of our team of CFT writers both past and present.

(P.S.: If any of our readers have ideas on posts they’d like to read during this college football hiatus, leave your suggestions in the comments section.  Mailbag, maybe?)

2019

THE HEADLINE: Randy Edsall releases statement as UConn trustees approve move back to Big East
THE SYNOPSIS: That was for the university’s non-football sports.  For football, the Huskie spent one last season in the AAC.  This season, they will play as an independent.

2018

THE HEADLINE: Autopsy showed Tyler Hilinski had CTE when he committed suicide this past January
THE SYNOPSIS: Out of the tragedy of the Washington State quarterback’s death, though, some good has come.

2014

THE HEADLINE: For sale: crab-themed ‘Catholics vs Criminoles’ t-shirts
THE SYNOPSIS: Notre Dame was set to face Florida State that 2014 season.  In the summer ahead of it, and playing off of Jameis Winston‘s crab caper, well, some Fighting Irish fans went there.  As for the game?  No. 2 Florida State 31, No. 5 Notre Dame 27.

2013

THE HEADLINE: No bowl ban, 18-month show-cause for Chip Kelly in Oregon’s NCAA case
THE SYNOPSIS: Then the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, Kelly and Oregon both agreed they failed to monitor the program adequately when it came to the infamous Willie Lyles.  Kelly, of course, is now the head coach at UCLA.  His hiring by the Bruins came after his show-cause had expired.

2012

THE HEADLINE: It’s official: presidents approve four-team playoff
THE SYNOPSIS: It wasn’t the eight-team format I preferred, but it killed off the BCS. So it did its job.  The four-team playoff formally debuted for the 2014 season.

College Football in Coronavirus Quarantine: On this day in CFT history, including Baylor, Art Briles mutually agreeing to an official divorce, acknowledging ‘serious shortcomings’ in response to sexual assaults

college football
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Leave a comment

The sports world, including college football, has essentially screeched to a halt as countries around the world battle the coronavirus pandemic. As such, there’s a dearth of college football news as spring practices have all but been canceled at every level of the sport. And there’s even some concern that the health issue could have an impact on the 2020 college football campaign.

In that vein, we thought it might be fun to go back through the CollegeFootballTalk archives that stretch back to 2009 and take a peek at what transpired in the sport on this date.

So, without further ado — ok, one further ado — here’s what happened in college football on June 24, by way of our team of CFT writers both past and present.

(P.S.: If any of our readers have ideas on posts they’d like to read during this college football hiatus, leave your suggestions in the comments section.  Mailbag, maybe?)

2019

THE HEADLINE: Randy Edsall has an oopsie moment on Twitter
THE SYNOPSIS: The oopsie?  Edsall’s Twitter account retweeting that read, in part, “Big-time football at UConn, RIP.”

2018

THE HEADLINE: UNLV bringing all-you-can-eat ticket packages to college football
THE SYNOPSIS: In the buffet capital of the world?  makes perfect sense.

2016

THE HEADLINE: Baylor, Art Briles mutually agree to an official divorce, acknowledge ‘serious shortcomings’ in response to sexual assaults
THE SYNOPSIS: A month prior, Briles was suspended “with intent to terminate.” That suspension-turned-termination came amidst the sexual assault scandal that rocked the college football program.  And the university.

2015

THE HEADLINE: While ‘they think Diddy’s a jerk,’ UCLA wants case dropped
THE SYNOPSIS: This was one helluva offseason storyline arc.  That’s not quite played out.

2013

THE HEADLINE: Devin Gardner calls his shot, says Michigan ‘will’ beat Ohio State
THE SYNOPSIS: That year, Michigan lost to its rival 42-41.  In Ann Arbor.  The Wolverines have gone on to lose the next six meetings to the Buckeyes as well.  One of these days, though, one of these called shots will be correct.

College Football in Coronavirus Quarantine: On this day in CFT history, including Sean ‘Puffy’ Combs/Puff Daddy/P. Diddy/Diddy arrested for allegedly assaulting UCLA’s strength coach with a kettlebell

college football
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The sports world, including college football, has essentially screeched to a halt as countries around the world battle the coronavirus pandemic. As such, there’s a dearth of college football news as spring practices have all but been canceled at every level of the sport. And there’s even some concern that the health issue could have an impact on the 2020 college football campaign.

In that vein, we thought it might be fun to go back through the CollegeFootballTalk archives that stretch back to 2009 and take a peek at what transpired in the sport on this date.

So, without further ado — ok, one further ado — here’s what happened in college football on June 22, by way of our team of CFT writers both past and present.

(P.S.: If any of our readers have ideas on posts they’d like to read during this college football hiatus, leave your suggestions in the comments section.  Mailbag, maybe?)

2019

THE HEADLINE: Reports: UConn could leave American for Big East
THE SYNOPSIS: Four days later, the Huskies confirmed non-football sports will be moving to the Big East.  2020 will mark UConn’s first season as a college football independent.

2018

THE HEADLINE: Chad Morris finally finalizes $3.5 million contract with Arkansas
THE SYNOPSIS: One year and five months later, the Razorbacks fired Morris.  After two seasons as head coach.  Now the offensive coordinator at Auburn, Morris is owed a $10 million buyout from UA.

2018

THE HEADLINE: Washington State coach Mike Leach not going quietly after Twitter spat, continues to blast reporter
THE SYNOPSIS: Leach is not one to shy away from creating controversy via the Twitter machine. Even if it costs him some players.

2017

THE HEADLINE: Kansas planning $300 million stadium renovation and new indoor football facility
THE SYNOPSIS: Just wanted to put this out there as a reminder.  In the last three seasons (2007-09) under Mark Mangino, KU won 25 games.  In the past 10 seasons (2010-19) since Mangino was fired, the Jayhawks have won 21 games.

2015

THE HEADLINE: Reports: UCLA strength coach assaulted by Diddy
THE SYNOPSIS: Diddy Day in college football included a kettlebell as the alleged weapon of choice.  The mogul, whose son, Justin Combs, was a Bruins defensive back at the time, was initially arrested on felony charges.  The felony charge was subsequently dropped.

2014

THE HEADLINE: Is Texas A&M actually running the state? YESSIR!
THE SYNOPSIS: This one garnered nearly 200 comments.  It’s almost like this is a college football rivalry that should still be played or something.

2010

THE HEADLINE: Was Nick Saban‘s ‘mea culpa’ a ploy to get back to NFL?
THE SYNOPSIS: A decade later, the answer is still the same.  No.  Probably.

Citing distrust of Chip Kelly’s program, UCLA football players asking for third-party health official to oversee voluntary workouts

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So much for the positive news when it comes to the UCLA football program.

This week, UCLA became the first California Power Five football program to announce a return date for voluntary on-campus.  Per the school, those workouts were set to begin next Mondy, June 22.  However, the Los Angeles Times is reporting that, following a virtual team meeting Thursday night, 30 UCLA football players have thrown their support behind a document demanding third-party oversight of their upcoming workouts.  The reason?  They do not trust Chip Kelly‘s program “to act in their best interest, particularly in regard to their health,” the Times wrote.

According to the players, “UCLA has ‘perpetually failed us… neglected and mismanaged injury cases.” Specific examples weren’t cited

From the Times‘ report:

The players demanded that a “third-party health official” be on hand for all football activities to see that protocols for COVID-19 prevention are being followed; that anonymous whistleblower protections are provided for athletes and staff to report violations; and that each player can make a decision about whether to come back to Westwood without fear of losing his scholarship or other retaliation.

“These demands reflect our call for an environment in which we do not feel pressured to return to competition, and if we choose not to return, that our decision will be respected,” the document reads. “If our demands are not met, we will refrain from booster events, recruiting events and all football-related promotional activities.

“The decision to return to training amidst a global pandemic has put us, the student-athletes, on the frontlines of a battle that we as a nation have not yet been able to win. We feel that as some of the first members of the community to attempt a return to normalcy, we must have assurances that allow us to make informed decisions and be protected regardless of our decision.

The newspaper writes that “UCLA athletic officials expressed understanding of the players’ hesitation to return to campus as the pandemic continues.”

UPDATED 5:20 p.m. ET: It certainly didn’t take long for UCLA football to at least start to take some action.