NCAA

Under Armour seeking to end $280 million deal with UCLA

Under Armour seeking to end $280 million deal with UCLA

When Under Armour signed a 15-year, $280 million deal with UCLA in 2016, it was the largest deal in college sports history. Now, less than five years into the deal, Under Armour is attempting to get out. 

According to the Los Angles Times, Under Armour recently informed UCLA that they want to terminate the deal because UCLA hasn't provided the marketing benefits they agreed upon when pen met paper four years prior. 

“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 company said in a statement to the Los Angeles Times. “The agreement allows us to terminate in such an event and we are exercising that right.”

UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero will be ending his 18-year tenure with the school at weeks end -- he'll be replaced by Martin Jarmond who has served as the William V. Campbell Director of Athletics at Boston College for the past three years. Even with the end near, Guerrero is attempting to salvage the partnership.

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“We are exploring all of our options to resist Under Armour’s actions and will share more information as we can,” Guerrero wrote. “We want to reassure you that UCLA Athletics remains 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.”

UCLA athletics have struggled recently, specifically their football and basketball program. The football team's last winning season came in 2015 while the basketball team hasn't touched the NCAA tournament since 2018.

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NCAA president Mark Emmert says fall championships can't happen at this time

NCAA president Mark Emmert says fall championships can't happen at this time

While conferences and schools across the nation are withdrawing from the 2020 fall sports season due to the coronavirus pandemic, others remain adamant that games and seasons can be played.

However, for those who are planning on having a fall campaign, their hopes of competing for a championship could still be derailed. According to NCAA president Mark Emmert, all Division I sports besides football --- which operates on the bowl schedule -- are in jeopardy of losing a title season due to the lack of teams involved.

“We cannot, now at this point, have fall NCAA Championships because there’s not enough schools participating," Emmert said during the NCAA Social Series on Thursday. "The Board of Governors also said, ‘look if you don’t have half the schools playing the sport you can’t have a legitimate championship.’”

Emmert noted that the fall can still be beneficial to universities as programs can put all their focus into safety protocols and maintaining the health of players. Additionally, players can still remain on campus and prepare for the spring season.

As for actual competition in the coming months, Emmert has begun to look ahead to 2021 with the hope that teams have the opportunity to compete when the spring comes around. Specifically, he wants to make sure that winter and spring sports -- who already lost a season in 2020 -- are not forced to suffer through the same fate again.

In order to do that, he's considering numerous altercations to sports such as modified bubbles and smaller brackets for postseason play. The procedures will become clearer in the coming months as more questions about the virus and its impact are answered.

For now, Emmert is optimistic that the NCAA has the capability to bring sports back in a safe way. But to do so, a lot of work still needs to be done.

“There’s a way to do it. Will it be normal? Of course not, you’ll be playing fall sports in the spring. Will it create other challenges? Of course. But is it doable? Yeah, it is doable and we want to do that," Emmert said. "We want to, again, make it work for these students.”

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Report: Big 12 planning to play football this fall

Report: Big 12 planning to play football this fall

Despite growing momentum to cancel the fall football season, the Big 12 reportedly is moving forward with their plans to play.

ESPN reporter Sam Khan Jr. reported on Wednesday morning that the Big 12's board of directors met for over an hour yesterday to discuss the fallout of decisions made to postpone the fall season from conferences like the Big Ten and Pac-12. 

Following days of speculation the Big Ten would cancel fall sports, the conference officially pulled the plug Tuesday citing concerns of the myriad of complications that come along with playing a season during a pandemic. 

The Big 12, however, is leading the charge in trying to set up safe way to play the fall season. ESPN reported there will be revised conference-only schedules coming out shortly after the season was again pushed back to Sept. 26. Stadium reported the Big 12 may have more news. 

The decision also comes on the back of growing support from athletes to find a solution in making sure this season gets played. The face of college football, Trevor Lawrence, has repeatedly tweeted his stance that going forward with a season will actually be safer for the athletes

Whether or not more Power 5 sides like the SEC and ACC follow suit remains to be seen, but it is widely speculated that these football-crazed conferences are determined to find a way. 

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