We have long warned parents and student-athletes not to get in bed with the wrong sort of folks. Those include private trainers who are not vetted, sponsors, and agents or others acting as de-facto agents. This all boiled over today in the basketball world as a large group of NCAA Coaches and Basketball influencers were indicted for violations of law. At the core of these revelations was Adidas and one of their executives, Jim Gatto, who was arrested today according to the NY Times.
According to the charges, Assistant NCAA Coaches were paid large sums of money by sports agents to get an athlete to sign with the sports agents firm, and in turn, the athletes family was paid a large forward payment to sign a shoe deal with Adidas when the athlete turns Pro. These are all allegations at this point but this is really no surprise and nothing new.
This is the perfect storm- or perfect scam if you will. But it is illegal and now the mighty are about to fall. This fresh off the news that Adidas took over Brand Jordan to become the #2 shoe brand in the world just behind Nike. This article was written September 18th, 2017 and hailed the massive increase in sales of Adidas basketball shoes, up 40% in one month, and the shoe world was on fire.
Nike just laid off thousands of employees worldwide and hundreds in Oregon. I have no doubt that a lot of those good people lost their jobs due to the acts of Adidas outlined in today's scandal.
Basketball has been a cesspool for years. So this mess surprises no one.
I want to speculate and predict that football is next. From High school recruits to college players the influence of Adidas has been noticeable, especially in the past 24 months. The brand appears to be providing gear to many a trainer, 7 on 7 team, and school.
The movement as it has been promoted is #3StripeMafia, #3StripeLife, and or #3Stripe. Unless you have been under a rock you have seen what we have- the three fingers held up sideways on sidelines and at camps by athletes all over the Country is a craze it seems.
The inference in these posts is that Adidas gave free gear, and lots of it, to athletes, teams, and trainers. This of course, on the heels of the revelations today, will be cause for concern and in some cases Panic. The news today is said to be the tip of the iceberg. Federal investigators are going to be moving in on College football relationships with Adidas, agents, coaches, and athletes. And don't think for a minute that Nike isn't happy about this and providing support and information. I bet they are and they should.
We live in a very small world, this sports world of incestuous relationships and buddy-buddy deals, where no one is not connected to everyone.
These big companies have no business giving equipment to amateur athletes. The fact that they "Gear" up private 7 on 7 trainers and coaches is a given. But they have done so carelessly in my opinion, and I might be wrong, but I believe where there is smoke there is fire.
My simple thoughts on how to deal with this -
- IF YOU ARE AN ATHLETE OR A PARENT OF AN ATHLETE AND YOU ACCEPTED ADIDAS GEAR BURN IT OR GIVE IT AWAY -
- If you train with a #3StripeMafia Boss or are a #3StripeLife member you best clean up your social media.
- If someone is acting as an advisor or an agent, even as a friend, I would make sure they are not in any way involved with or taking free stuff or being paid by Adidas; nor any shoe company for that matter.
- Get Rid of all reference to Adidas or any brand and start Repping the Brand of YOU! That is all that you need or that matters!
Understand this- I like Adidas products. But their actions don't look to be in the best interest of our student-athletes. There is no reason to put yourself in a bad position for some shoes or shorts. That is just foolish.
None of this would have happened if high school and college athletes could have licensed and bonded agents or attorneys represent them. That way if a shoe company wants to pay someone it will be the player and his family and not a Coach or and agent- many of whom are not vetted, registered, or regulated.
No one is to blame for these sort of unfortunate incidents more so than the NCAA itself. In my view, high-school and college athletes need to have the right to have representation as they move into college or the NFL. Otherwise, the side-show will continue and the student-athletes best interests are not being kept in mind.
No more #3StripeMafia for the wise!
Best of luck out there everyone and of course I am always up for healthy debate and discussion.
I would Imagine that the guys involved with these proclamations are all being looked at. No Coach, public or private, should use corporate branding or free gear as a way to incentivize their business. If our High School and College Coaches are not doing it no one else should be. Tonight I would imagine many people Nationwide will be deleting emails, tweets, and other social media posts.
Here are just a few choice posts from Members of the Mafia that were floating around Twitter.