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|add to favorites||Lonzo Ball shines under MSG spotlight, but Lakers fall short||Cars||1414.1212.17171717||
|NEW YORK -- On one end of Madison Square Garden's celebrity row, Magic Johnson and Odell Beckham Jr. sat next to each other, chatting and laughing it up. On the other end, where the famous sit in The World's Most Famous Arena, LaVar Ball, his wife Tina and sons LiAngelo and LaMelo were seated a few seats away from Spike Lee. There was enough personality on celebrity row to light up Broadway for Lonzo Ball's New York debut. And Ball, the Lakers and Knicks gave everyone in the building their money's worth by going to overtime before http://www.authenticcapitalstore.com/alex-ovechkin-jersey_c-450.html Kristaps Porzingis lifted the Knicks to a 113-109 victory Tuesday night. Ball wasn't nearly as prolific, though he flirted with a triple-double, finishing with 17 points, eight rebounds, six assists and only one turnover. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope led six Lakers in double figures with 24 points, but Los Angeles (10-16) had its two-game winning streak snapped as leading scorer Brandon Ingram cooled off and missed his first 10 shots. He finished by shooting 2-for-12 with five points, seven rebounds and five assists. Also playing in his first game at the Garden, Lakers rookie Kyle Kuzma scored 10 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter, including burying a clutch 3-pointer with 24 seconds remaining to send the game to overtime. "For being http://www.officialsfalconsauthenticshop.com/Deion_Jones_Jersey_Cheap a rookie, he's got a lot of confidence," Lakers coach Luke Walton said. "He is not afraid of the moment." The Grady Jarrett Womens Jersey Garden crowd got to see one of Ball's best moments of his rookie season, especially during one head-turning stretch in the third quarter when Ball went toe to toe with New York's Porzingis and Enes Kanter, sending a buzz through the Garden. With the score tied 61-61, Ball threw down an instant highlight one-handed alley-oop dunk from Caldwell-Pope in transition. Porzingis responded with a 28-foot 3-pointer. Ball then drilled a 3 of his own. After a Kanter dunk, Ball drove and scored past Kanter, who came back with another basket before Ball assisted Brook Lopez for a 3. Porzingis then came back with another 3, capping the furious two-minute sequence. Johnson, the Lakers' team president of basketball operations, stood up from his courtside seat and applauded his rookie point guard. Not bad for a 20-year-old who was visiting New York City for only the second time in his life -- the other time being for the NBA draft earlier this year. "I think everyone knows when Magic is in the building," Ball said of Johnson, who drew a huge ovation when shown on the big screen. "Just his presence alone." The other larger-than-life personality on celebrity row rooting on the Lakers, LaVar Ball, also Authentic A.J. Bouye Jersey was up on his feet loving everything he was seeing. "Regardless, he is always going to be 'turnt' up," Ball said of his dad. "I like his energy. Some people don't." Even though Ball, a Southern Californian who doesn't like the cold, said he didn't leave his hotel room apart from his team's game, the morning shootaround and to sign autographs at the Big Baller Brand pop-up shop Sunday, the Lakers' point guard was looking forward to Tuesday's matchup.In fact, it's a big week for Ball, who faces LeBron James and the Cavs for the first time Thursday. Ball's favorite player growing up was James and http://www.officialathleticsproshop.com/Glenn_Hubbard_Jersey he not only had posters of James, Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant up on his bedroom wall but James' Cavaliers and Heat jerseys as well. Ball has been humbled and inspired by James, who has been complimentary of Ball and even wished the rookie happy birthday earlier this year. "Every kid dreams about playing [at the Garden], just because of all the history and all the battles," Ball said. "It's going to be a lot of fun [this week]. The Garden, all the history there and then LeBron, best player in the world. Definitely two challenges, and I look forward to it." The rookie, who came in shooting 24.6 percent from 3-point range, hit three of six 3-point attempts. While this wasn't anywhere close to Kobe or Jordan Ken Griffey Authentic Jersey playing the Garden, there still was an air of curiosity from the crowd about what Ball could do. This was New York's first time seeing Ball play Kyle Van Noy Jersey live, and at one point in the fourth quarter, Ball drew loud boos from the Garden crowd as he dribbled the ball up court. Just a few days earlier, Ball and his family were feeling the love from New York City. Thousands of fans stood in frigid temperatures to visit the Big Baller Brand pop-up store."Everybody was calling my dad a legend," Ball said. "That was probably the funniest. Just yelling out the brand, saying LaVar's my hero. ... [Big Baller Brand] was just the idea that started in the house in Chino Hills. The fact that it's reached all the way out here and people are going crazy about, I didn't see it. But I assume my dad did." Wholesale NBA Jerseys NHL Jerseys Wholesale Nike NFL Jerseys From China Basketball Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys NFL Cheap Jerseys Wholesale Nike NFL Jerseys Wholesale|
|add to favorites||Packers have legitimate playoff hopes with Aaron Rodgers' recovery||Cars||1414.1212.17171717||
|This time, Dec. 12 was again celebratory for the Green Bay Packers quarterback -- and most of the state for that matter -- even if it took http://www.officialraysshop.com/authentic-26-brad-boxberger-jersey.html until the day's final hours for that to be official. No. 12 himself announced late Tuesday night that he has been medically cleared to return from his broken collarbone. Who knows how much lobbying Rodgers had to do to get cleared by Dr. Pat McKenzie, the Packers' team physician? Regardless, however, the Packers now have legitimate hopes for the playoffs.
Yes, they probably have to run the table (where have you heard that before?) but that seems far more likely with Rodgers at the controls than with Brett Hundley. In seven starts, Hundley won three times. He beat the Bears, Buccaneers and Browns. Those three teams have a combined record of 8-31. The Packers' next three opponents -- the Panthers, Vikings and Lions -- have a combined 26-13 record and all three of them are over .500.
Hundley did his job, keeping the Packers alive in the playoff race. But it would have been a monumental ask for him to win three more games to get the Packers to 10-6, which is where they'll need to be in order to have any chance for a postseason. Despite some rough patches, Hundley managed to even his touchdown-to-interception numbers at eight apiece thanks to his three-touchdown game Sunday against the Browns. But that wouldn't have cut it down the stretch.
Rodgers was playing some of the best football of his career in the first five weeks of the season, throwing 13 touchdowns and just three interceptions before Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr's hit early in the Week 6 game at Minnesota caused him to http://www.baseballcardinalsonline.com/WOMENS-BOB-GIBSON-JERSEY.html break his right clavicle.
It's the second time in his career that Rodgers has returned during the season from a broken collarbone. In 2013, he returned after a seven-game absence (he did not have surgery for his broken left clavicle) for the regular-season finale at Chicago. He won that game to give the Packers the NFC North title at 8-7-1, but the Packers lost in the playoff opener to 49ers at home.
This time, Rodgers underwent surgery to stabilize his broken right clavicle and will be asked to win three straight just to get into playoff consideration. ESPN's Football Power Index says the Packers have an 89 percent chance to make the playoffs if they win out. Yet FPI gave the Packers just a 6.6 percent chance of making it.
NEW YORK -- A David Andrews Authentic Jersey visit by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick to New York's Rikers Island jail facility has drawn criticism from the union representing city correction officers. Kaepernick began kneeling during the national anthem last season to raise awareness to issues affecting minorities in the United States, leading to similar actions by other NFL players and repeated criticism from President Donald Trump.
The head of the Correction Officers Benevolent Association said in a statement that Kaepernick's presence at Rikers on Tuesday will encourage inmates to attack jail guards. The statement also noted that Kaepernick once wore socks depicting police as cartoon pigs. The union was critical of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner Cynthia Brann Authentic Eric Dickerson Jersey for extending an invitation to Kaepernick. Department of Brandon Moss Authentic Jersey Correction spokesman Peter Thorne said in a statement that the purpose of Kaepernick's visit was to "share a message of hope and inspiration."
At the prison, Kaepernick held two 45-minute sessions with small groups of inmates at the jail's George Motchan Detention Center. He spoke about social justice issues and talked about his decision to kneel during the national anthem. "No cameras. No promotion. He's just Brent Celek Jersey helping turn around lives many http://www.texansofficialauthentic.com/TEXANS-ANDRE-JOHNSON-JERSEY people have given up on," a spokesperson for the mayor said. "He's the real deal."
Hester's signature moment, however, was returning the opening kickoff of Super Bowl XLI for a touchdown. That play is the greatest sequence in Bears history since the revered 1985 team hoisted the Vince Lombardi Trophy. The city of Chicago stopped when teams dared kick to Hester. Heck, the entire football world stopped when Hester went back for a return. Fourteen career punt-return touchdowns. Five kickoffs returned for touchdowns. The missed field goal score in the old Meadowlands. That’s a Hall of Fame career in itself. But Hester also contributed on offense at wide receiver, posting back-to-back 50-catch seasons for the Bears.
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|José Mourinho Jersey questions Manchester José Mourinho has questioned whether Manchester City’s players have the same “education” as their Manchester United counterparts and insisted the Premier League leaders were to blame for the brawl at Old Trafford that has left the clubs facing the possibility of disciplinary action. Mourinho accused City of showing a lack of respect with what Aaron Hicks Jersey he perceived to be excessive dressing-room celebrations after Sunday’s win and angrily turned on a BBC correspondent for asking whether his club might be punished. “I think you work for another club,” the United manager said, “and not for the press” on another tense day when the deteriorating relationship between the city rivals was laid bare. While Mourinho tried to take the moral high ground by insisting the Football Association should exonerate his players, Pep Guardiola said he would be willing to offer an apology if his team’s celebrations had offended United after the 2-1 win that took City 11 points clear. However, the City manager also made it clear he did not think that was the case, arguing strenuously that his players were entitled to celebrate inside their dressing room and had “huge respect” for their opponents. “What happened in the locker room happened,” Guardiola said. “Hopefully it is never http://www.jetsfootballofficialshop.com/Authentic-James-Carpenter-Jersey going to happen again. If we were not correct then I apologise to Manchester United. But our intention was not that – it was to celebrate inside the locker room and if people cannot understand that, I’m sorry, we won a derby. If we offended United then I apologise but sometimes United have made a lot of celebrations in the past over City.” Mourinho, preparing for Bournemouth’s visit to Old Trafford on Wednesday, delayed his Ereck Flowers Jersey press conference to take in Guardiola’s comments and was asked if he Willie Cauley-Stein Womens Jersey was confident his players had behaved the right way. “I know,” he said. “I am not ‘confident’ – I know.” The evidence suggests otherwise when it is accepted on both sides that around 20 players and members of staff were caught up in the free-for-all, with drink bottles thrown and punches swung. Mikel Arteta, City’s coach, needed butterfly stitches because of a gash to his Gerald Everett Youth jersey forehead and Romelu Lukaku has been accused in some quarters of causing the injury. “Accused?” http://www.footballbroncosofficialshop.com/Authentic-Steve-Atwater-Jersey Mourinho said. “Prove [it]. Show evidence, then punish him.” Mourinho also made a pointed reference to United’s 3-1 win at Arsenal the previous weekend to demonstrate his point that City had gone too far with their celebrations. “The only thing I can say is that, for me, it was a question of http://www.tampabaylightningofficialonline.com/Adidas-Alex-Killorn-Jersey diversity,” he said. “Diversity in behaviour, diversity in education … the diversity of behaviour, of opinion, of education.” Jerseys For Cheap Wholesale NBA Jerseys Nike NFL Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Nike Cheap Jerseys China Jerseys Supply Baseball Jerseys Cheap|
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|The story involved a different blockbuster deal between Adidas and Louisville -- one that had played out in the shadows but was now being revealed by the U.S. Department of Justice, in http://www.footballredskinsofficialstore.com/Dustin_Hopkins_Jersey New York City. That morning, the FBI had announced a sweeping corruption investigation into college basketball. In one of the most explosive allegations, Adidas employees -- colleagues of the same people who were gathered in the gym -- had paid a $100,000 bribe to a blue-chip recruit's family. Nothing has been the same in Louisville since. While other schools have avoided taking drastic action in response to the ongoing probe, Louisville has blown up its athletic department. The morning after the FBI's announcement, Dr. Gregory Postel, the interim president, removed not only Hall of Fame basketball coach Rick Pitino but also athletic director Tom Jurich, one of the state's most powerful http://www.redskinsofficialonlineshop.com/Doug_Williams_Jersey_Cheap people. Over the past 20 years, Jurich had built a sports empire on top of a midlevel commuter school near the Ohio River, transforming the campus and infusing a genteel Southern city that lacked a professional team with the excitement of big-time sports. Jurich was so successful generating money that "I wished I could turn them upside down and shake out http://www.officialredsstore.com/authentic-34-homer-bailey-jersey.html their pocket change for the academic side," says Thomas B. Byers, a professor emeritus in the English department. Perhaps more than any other place in America, Louisville came to embody the contradictions of college athletics -- a multibillion-dollar industry built on amateur athletes. The Adidas partnership was supposed to be a crowning achievement that validated the university as a national power. The agreement represented an undeniable windfall, with potential opportunities for the entire university, but to some it also exploited the athletes it purported to benefit while encouraging the criminal behavior later alleged by the FBI. Ultimately, the scandal -- on top of two earlier ones involving Louisville basketball, the financial engine of the athletic department -- cost Jurich his job. And it did so while underscoring the moral compromises and questionable priorities at the heart of his success, according to interviews by Outside the Lines with more than three dozen current and former Louisville administrators, athletic department staffers, government officials, state regulators, faculty and Carlton Fisk Authentic Jersey local media, as well as independent audits and documents obtained under Kentucky's Open Records Act. According to the FBI timeline, Adidas and Jurich were nailing down the sponsorship agreement while company representatives were allegedly working to bring 6-foot-7 small forward Brian Bowen to the university. Whether those two deals -- one announced at a news conference, the other negotiated illicitly in the presence of an undercover agent -- were somehow related is one of the major unanswered questions of the spiraling scandal. Jurich, who conceived of the partnership with the shoe company during Adidas-sponsored retreats in Santa Barbara, California, and Banff, Alberta, says he knew nothing about the Bowen deal, but he acknowledged that Adidas, which was to pay Louisville cash incentives for Final Four appearances and NCAA championships, had a financial interest in Louisville's success. "We all agree with that," Jurich says. "But I didn't think they would have to do it at this cost." An Adidas spokeswoman said the company is conducting an investigation of its college basketball programs, and due to the FBI investigation, "we cannot provide more details." When the Adidas contract was Boyd Gordon Authentic Jersey announced, it marked the ultimate realization of Jurich's dream to build a national power. Now, to many, it symbolizes something entirely different: the corruption of a public university. "It's a hustle. I mean, that's what it is," says professor Ricky Jones, chairman of Louisville's Pan-African studies department. "It's about making money. It's about, you know, folks from shoe companies and all the people in their orbit setting up a system that is pimping kids out." After the FBI bombshell, Louisville and Adidas quietly shut down the workshop one day David Pastrnak Authentic Jersey early. Waldron, who'd spent 18 months on the partnership, was crushed. Early in her career, she had been deputy director of radio during the Clinton presidency, only to see her work life taken over by the White House sex scandal. NBA Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap Basketball Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys MLB Jerseys Cheap NBA Basketball Jerseys|
|add to favorites||Jay Cutler outshines Tom Brady as Dolphins produce throwback performance||Cars||1313.1212.17171717||
|MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- There was a time in the 1970s and '80s when the Miami Dolphins were a consistently great franchise. Hall of Famers such as quarterback Dan Marino and tailback Larry Csonka were among the most recognizable players and Miami http://www.footballravensofficialauthentic.com/Alex_Collins_Jersey was one of the league's marquee teams.
On a night when Miami donned its throwback uniforms and honored many of its great players from the past, the Dolphins produced a throwback performance in a 27-20 upset victory over Womens Tyrell Williams Jersey the New England Patriots. This was by far the Dolphins' most impressive win of the season, which has otherwise been filled with distractions and inconsistency.
One has to wonder if the defending Super Bowl champion Patriots (10-3) were thinking ahead to next week's matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers (11-2) that could determine home-field advantage for the AFC http://www.footballredskinsofficialstore.com/Kendall_Reyes_Jersey playoffs. It Adam Wainwright Jersey also http://www.officialsstlouisblues.com/Adidas-Al-Macinnis-Jersey did not help New England that All-Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski served his one-game suspension for a late hit last week against the Buffalo Bills.
New England looked lethargic for three quarters against Miami (6-7), which in contrast was energized and treated Monday's contest like its personal Super Bowl. The Dolphins improved to 1-3 in prime-time Jonathan Ogden Womens Jersey games this season after being outscored 112-45 in the three prior night games.
"We gave them a taste of their own medicine," Dolphins Pro Bowl receiver Jarvis Landry said. "We found ways to make plays. We found ways [to show] our will is stronger than yours." In an unexpected occurrence, Miami quarterback Jay Cutler significantly outperformed Patriots counterpart and future Hall of Famer Tom Brady. Cutler was the cooler, more effective quarterback and handled a Patriots defense that's played Josh Robinson Youth jersey well in recent weeks. He threw for 263 yards, three touchdowns and had a 112.1 passer rating.
Meanwhile, the Dolphins’ defense rattled Brady early and often. He did not complete his first pass until the second quarter and threw a pair of interceptions to Miami cornerback Xavien Howard, who now has four interceptions in the past two games. Brady, who has had rough games in South Florida in the http://www.coltsonlinesofficialstore.com/Al-Woods-Jersey past, finished with 233 passing yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. He had a 59.5 passer rating.
With two straight wins, the Dolphins quietly placed themselves back in the playoff hunt. Miami, which is one game below .500, has an important road game next week against the Bills (7-6), who currently hold the final wild-card spot in the AFC. The Dolphins will play the Bills twice in the final three weeks of the season.
"That's what this team is: resilient," said Dolphins running back Kenyan Drake, who rushed for a game-high 114 yards. "Just because everybody else probably counted us out, we as a unit, as a team, as an organization, we always stick together and we're going to continue to stick together."
ON THE MORNING of Sept. 26, more than two dozen Adidas employees gathered inside a gym at the University of Louisville. They had flown in from as far away as Europe -- marketers and athletic performance specialists, top designers from Adidas' secretive Brooklyn Creator Farm. They were participating in a weeklong workshop to imagine gear, products and advertising built around Louisville's most valuable commodity: the men's basketball team.
The exercise was meant to simulate the vision behind a $160 million partnership between Adidas and Louisville, which had been announced the previous month. One of the largest all-school sponsorship agreements in Adidas' history, it was much more than a shoe deal. In internal strategy documents, Louisville vowed to "write the next chapter for college athletics, for streetwear and fashion." Adidas,
a $7.9 billion corporation, would have access not only to the university's amateur athletes but also to the business, law and music schools to help create and market new products. As the participants prepared for Day 2, Julianne Waldron, Louisville's associate athletic director of marketing and an architect of the deal, received a call. "Julianne, there's a story that just broke. You need to read it," said a public relations official. "It has to do with Adidas."
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|add to favorites||Your guide to the winter meetings: Superstars, blockbusters -- and total chaos||Cars||1212.1212.17171717||
|This had been a slow cooker of a month since the World Series ended, with little happening outside the purview of Jerry Dipoto. Then Shohei Ohtani announced he's going to the Angels! Then the Marlins and Yankees agreed to terms on a Giancarlo Stanton trade! Game on.
Still, the top 21 free agents on Keith Law's top-50 list remained unsigned. At this point, however, it's clear many of these deals aren't going to come down until late January or even the early days of spring training. I think three issues have Authentic Kevin Huber Jersey slowed the market:
1. Ohtani and Stanton. This was only a minor effect on what's happened, because Ohtani's initial contract -- the major league minimum -- shouldn't have influenced a team's other offseason moves. He'd merely have been considered a bonus acquisition. The exhausting Stanton dispatches impacted only a few teams, although maybe the Cardinals and Giants held off on other moves.
It's a risky free-agent class. There isn't a free agent out there without an obvious flaw or two. J.D. Martinez is the best hitter available and he's a 30-year-old corner outfielder with below-average defense who probably has to move to DH in a couple seasons (if not immediately). Yu Darvish is the best pitcher, but he has a Tommy John surgery in his past and concerns about his durability and postseason performance. Eric Hosmer had a terrific 2017 but has been wildly inconsistent throughout his career. And so on. Does J.D. Martinez sound like a $200 million ballplayer to you? Of course not. Front offices are simply waiting for the Authentic Colby Rasmus Jersey agents to drop their asking prices.
3. Teams are saving money for 2018-19, a much deeper class of free agents that includes Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Josh Donaldson, Charlie Blackmon, probably Clayton Kershaw, and a whole slew of dominant relievers.
Marcell Ozuna, OF, Marlins. The Marlins have said they want to keep Ozuna (and Christian Yelich), but if the Astros-like teardown is happening, then you might as well strip everything to the bones. Ozuna is coming off a monster .312/.376/.548 year and has two seasons left until free agency. Is there value to keeping him around if Stanton is gone and you're rebuilding?
Jose Abreu, 1B, White Sox. We've heard the Red Sox rumors, and http://www.officialcardinalsbaseball.com/authentic-18-carlos-martinez-jersey.html it makes some sense for them to trade for Abreu and about $40 million in arbitration salaries the next two seasons rather than spend $100 million-plus on Hosmer. Even though the White Sox are unlikely contenders the next http://www.officialauthenticravenstore.com/womens_danny_woodhead_jersey two seasons and cashing in Abreu for more young talent sounds logical, they might just keep him. The front office values his leadership in the clubhouse and views him as a mentor to all the young players, especially fellow Cuban Yoan Moncada. They'll have to be blown away to make a deal.
Chris Archer, P, Rays. Yes, another winter meetings with Archer trade rumors. He's attractive not just because he's good and a workhorse -- three straight seasons with 200 innings, one of just five pitchers who can make that claim -- but because his contract
is so team-friendly. He's owed just $34 million and change over the next four seasons. The Rays also have a nice group of young starters in Blake Snell, Jake Faria, Brent Honeywell and Jose De Leon. They have to be realistic: Can they contend right now with the Red Sox and Yankees? If they can get a couple of impact prospects for Archer, maybe it's time to finally deal him.
Andrew McCutchen, OF, Pirates. He's no longer an MVP candidate and shouldn't be considered a center fielder at this point in his career, but the bat still plays. He has one season remaining until free agency. The Pirates could also look to deal Gerrit Cole, who has two years left of team control.
Victor Robles, OF, Nationals. OK, he's a future star. While he seems like the heir apparent to replace Bryce Harper, the Yankees' trade for Stanton also means it's more likely Harper remains in Washington after 2018. If the Nationals decide they want another starting pitcher, maybe Robles is the bait.
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|Minnesota Vikings. The Saints would become the new best team in the NFC, but they aren't the favorite to reach the Super Bowl. That would be the Vikings, out of circumstance. Even with Foles at quarterback, the Eagles have enough of a lead that they ought to squeak out a first-round bye -- and maybe even the No. 1 seed. The Vikings have both the Bengals and Bears left
on their schedule and should secure a bye. Likely needing one fewer postseason win than the Saints, Rams or Seahawks to reach the Super Bowl, the Vikings are the favorite to represent the Authentic Oscar Robertson Jersey NFC. And though they might be a hair worse than New Orleans, let's not overlook the Vikings' ability after Sunday's road loss. Entering Week 14, Case Keenum was the Total QBR leader among healthy quarterbacks, and Minnesota had the fifth-best defense in the league, per FPI.
Field Yates, NFL Insider: Minnesota Vikings. Minnesota has shown a resilience -- despite the Week 14 result -- throughout the season that is difficult to ignore. The Vikings' offensive line has been dramatically improved this year and if it gets back to full health down the stretch should further fortify the running game. I also still believe Philadelphia has a strong enough roster to make a deep postseason run.
This story appears in ESPN The Magazine's Dec. 25 'Tis The Season Issue. Subscribe today! ON THE MORNING of Sept. 26, more than two dozen Adidas employees gathered inside a gym at the University of Louisville. They had flown in from as far away as Europe -- marketers and athletic performance specialists, top designers from Adidas' secretive Brooklyn Creator Farm. They Authentic Nolan Ryan Jersey were participating in a weeklong workshop to imagine gear, products and advertising built around Louisville's most valuable commodity: the men's basketball team.
The exercise was meant to simulate the vision behind a $160 million partnership between http://www.officialshopknights.com/authentic-adidas-84-mikhail-grabovski-jersey Adidas and Louisville, which had been announced the previous month. One of the largest all-school sponsorship agreements in Adidas' history, it was much more than a shoe deal. In internal strategy documents, Louisville vowed to "write the next chapter for college athletics, for streetwear and fashion." Adidas, a $7.9 billion corporation, would have access not only to the university's amateur athletes but also to the business, law and music schools to help create and market new products.
As the participants prepared for Day 2, Julianne Waldron, Louisville's associate athletic director of marketing and an architect of the deal, received a call. "Julianne, there's a story that just broke. You need to read it," said a public relations official. "It has to do with Adidas." "They're with me right now," she replied, confused.
The story involved a different blockbuster deal between Adidas and Louisville -- one that had played out in the shadows but was now being revealed by the U.S. Department of Justice, in New York City. That morning, the FBI had announced a sweeping corruption investigation into college basketball. In one of the most explosive allegations, Adidas employees -- colleagues of the same people who were gathered in the gym -- had paid a $100,000 bribe to a blue-chip recruit's family.
Nothing has been the same in Louisville since. While other schools have avoided taking drastic action in response to the ongoing probe, Louisville has blown up its athletic department. The morning after the Earnest Byner Womens Jersey FBI's announcement, Dr. Gregory Postel, the interim president, removed not only Hall of Fame basketball coach Rick Pitino but also athletic director Tom Jurich, one of the state's most powerful
people. Over the past 20 years, http://www.officialindianstore.com/Lonnie_Chisenhall_Jersey Jurich had built a sports empire on top of a midlevel commuter school near the Ohio River, transforming the campus and infusing a genteel Southern city that lacked a professional team with the excitement of big-time sports. Jurich was so successful generating money that "I wished I could turn them upside down and shake out their pocket change for the academic side," says Thomas B. Byers, a professor emeritus in the English department.
Perhaps more than any other place in America, Louisville came to embody the contradictions of college athletics -- a multibillion-dollar industry built on amateur athletes. The Adidas partnership was supposed to be a crowning achievement that validated the university as a national power. The agreement represented an undeniable windfall, with potential opportunities for the entire university, but to some it also exploited the athletes it purported to benefit while encouraging the criminal behavior later alleged by the FBI. Ultimately, the scandal -- on top
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