Naval Academy to revisit Under Armour contract this week

Naval Academy to revisit Under Armour contract this week

During a time of economic uncertainty, Baltimore-based Under Armour is apparently looking for ways to save money which may likely come in the fashion of terminating apparel deals. 

After reports surfaced last week of Under Armour seeking to terminate their $280 million deal with UCLA, the Naval Academy is now on the company's radar, according to a report from the Capital Gazette. 

"I've got a teleconference with the Under Armour folks tomorrow [Thursday] to go over some things," Navy's athletic director Chet Gladchuk said. "We're going to review all the tenets of the contract. Under Armour has asked the Naval Academy Athletic Association to keep an open mind with regard to the big picture."


Nike was the Naval Academy's apparel company up until 2014 when Under Armour took over with an undisclosed multi-year partnership. 

Under Armour is under contract to pay at minimum $679 million over the next five years in total in sponsorships with professional teams and leagues, colleges, and universities, athletes,  athletic events and other marketing commitments, the company announced in its 2019 annual report. $131 million of that is due by the end of this year.

"Under Armour is going through the process of revisiting all deals with their various collegiate programs. I'm sure their intention is to readjust all their contracts," Gladchuk said. "Every business must address the realities of market conditions.

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How Navy's Ken Niumatalolo is working from home during COVID-19

How Navy's Ken Niumatalolo is working from home during COVID-19

Ken Niumatalolo is the longest-tenured head coach in Navy history, and the winningest.

In his 12 seasons the Midshipmen have gone 98-60 with six bowl wins. They finished the 2019 season 11-2, good enough to place No. 20 in the Top 25 AP poll. It was only the second time in the programs' last 56 years they’ve done so. 

It was also an eight-game improvement from the year before. Pretty outstanding. In fact, it was the biggest turnaround in the country and tied for the second-biggest in FBS history.  That earned Niumatalolo the American Athletic Conference Coach of the Year honors for the third time in the last five seasons. Navy claimed the Commander-In-Chief’s trophy for the first time since 2015 by defeating both Air Force and Army.

Ok, you get the point. They had a good year, but talking football is far from Niumatalolo’s top priority right now.

“My main concern first and foremost has been for the safety and health of our players. And so the biggest thing early on when this first started to happen, just checking on our coaches and our staff,” Niumatalolo told NBC Sports Washington. “How's everybody? How's their family doing? You know, what kind of plan, situation do they have? Then each of our coaches reached out to our players. What’s their living situation? You know what’s their food situation? Are they okay? Just all those kinds of things, and so, once we figured that out, then we’re just trying to do a little bit of football so it helps people to keep sane … “

Once knowing all of his young men were taken care of, he could then start the next step of running a program from home - after watching Disney movies with his granddaughter, of course. Even if that draws gentle chiding from his daughter who notes that they COULD read some books, too. But spending extra time with his family has been a blessing. 

“I think it helps you to keep some sanity and we’ll give them some football, but it's not like we're trying to totally prepare for the first game," Niumatalolo said. "These are unprecedented times, so I think you got to find a way to keep things in perspective.”

Of course, the challenge for a football team lies in staying in shape, which is even more challenging depending on what equipment each player has at home. Some have a workout place, some have a few dumbbells … and then some are just doing bodyweight exercises. 

“We’re trying to do the best we can, trying to be creative, don’t fall into the lull of ‘Hey, I don't have anything so I can't do anything,’” Niumatalolo said. 

Translation, no excuses. Niumatalolo follows his own orders but he does so from his home town.

“In Hawaii, they're allowing you to go outside to run or jog, or if you go to the beach you got to be on the move,” Niumatalolo said. “You can’t be lounging. Or if you’re swimming, you have to keep your social distancing.” 

Albeit, his goals are slightly different than that of his players: “It definitely helps you keep your sanity and hopefully try to keep my weight down,” Niumatalolo said.

Now that is something we can all relate to!  


College Football Week 10 What to Watch: The Hokies will test their luck against the Irish

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College Football Week 10 What to Watch: The Hokies will test their luck against the Irish

Virginia Tech heads to Notre Dame, Virginia looks to regain first in the Coastal Division, Maryland hosts a tough Michigan team and Navy meets UConn for the last time as conference foes.

Here is a breakdown of all the local action.

Navy at UConn

When: 8 p.m. Friday
Where: Pratt & Whitney Stadium, East Hartford, Conn.
How to watch: ESPN2

With UConn on its way out of the AAC, this promises to be the last matchup between these two teams for the foreseeable future. The Huskies are just 6-26 in Randy Edsall's second stint with the Huskies and earned their first FBS win in two years Saturday against UMass.  Navy, meanwhile, is in the running to win its division with a 6-1 record, 4-1 in conference.  Because of the nature of the program, there are not many teams Navy can play in which they will hold a distinct talent advantage, but this is one of them.

Anything can happen in college football, but Navy's triple-option attack should have little trouble shredding UConn's 102nd ranked rushing defense. Edsall will probably still find a way to earn multiple bonuses in this game though so at least there's that.

Maryland vs. No. 14 Michigan

When: 12 p.m. Saturday
Where: Maryland Stadium, College Park, Md.
How to watch: ABC

Maryland was throttled by Minnesota last week and now return home to face a Michigan team that seems to be peaking after a big win over Notre Dame.

Read the full preview here.

Virginia Tech at No. 16 Notre Dame

When: 2:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: Notre Dame Stadium, Notre Dame, Ind.
How to watch: NBC

Quarterback Hendon Hooker will play Saturday against Notre Dame after a bye week allowed him time to get healthy. Virginia Tech is 3-0 since Hooker took over as the starter, but Saturday's game against Notre Dame will be his biggest test yet as the Irish are easily the best opponent on Virginia Tech's schedule this season. 

Virginia at North Carolina

When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: Kenan Stadium, Chapel Hill, N.C.
How to watch: ACCN

With a win over Duke, Virginia took sole possession of first place in the ACC Coastal. A loss to Louisville last week dropped them back into a tie. Now again they face a team they sit tied with in the standings looking to reclaim their lead atop the division.

The offensive line has been atrocious of late for Virginia which has forced the ball in the hands of star quarterback Bryce Perkins far too much. The offense is looking at a situation in which it cannot establish the run, but cannot give Perkins enough time to effectively pass the ball. That leaves the star quarterback susceptible to too many hits and it could cost them. This offense would collapse without Perkins under center.

North Carolina should offer the Cavaliers a chance to get the ground game going, however, with the 73rd ranked rush defense in the nation.

Game of the week: No. 8 Georgia vs. No. 6 Florida

When: 3:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: TIAA Bank Field, Jacksonville, Fla.
How to watch: CBS

The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party is one of the best rivalries in college football and it's an important one too with both teams battling for supremacy in the SEC East. The winner of this game is almost a lock to win the division.

Heading into this season there are not many who would have thought Florida was close to catching Georgia. Now over midway through the season, the Gators have had the more impressive season with a win over Auburn and their only loss coming on the road at LSU. Georgia was stunned by South Carolina which now leaves quarterback Jake Fromm and the Bulldogs in a position where they will need to reassert their dominance over the division.

Not only is first place in the division on the line, but so too is both team's College Football Playoff hopes. A two-loss team has never made it to the playoff and that is unlikely to happen this year for a team that is not going to even win its division.

On NBC Sports Washington

Georgia Tech vs. Pitt

When: 4:00 p.m., Saturday
Where: Bobby Dodd Stadium, Atlanta, Ga.
How to watch: NBC Sports Washington Plus

Other local teams

Old Dominion at Florida International, 12 p.m. Saturday on ESPN+
Liberty at UMass, 12 p.m. Saturday
Georgetown vs. Colgate, 12 p.m. Saturday
Hampton vs. Presbyterian College, 1 p.m. Saturday on ESPN+
Howard vs. North Carolina Central, 1 p.m. Saturday on ESPN3
VMI vs. Western Carolina, 1:30 p.m. Saturday on ESPN+
Towson vs. Delaware, 2 p.m. Saturday
Norfolk State vs. Morgan State, 2 p.m. Saturday on ESPN3
Stony Brook vs. Richmond, 4 p.m. Saturday