Odd news from ESPN today, as UCF’s Marcus Jordan - son of His Airness Michael, of course - is refusing to comply with the Golden Knights’ shoe deal. UCF has a $3 million dollar with adidas, while (not suprisingly) Jordan won’t wear anything but his dad’s Air Jordans.
While it’s fine and normal for Marcus to want to honor his dad (if this is, indeed, Marcus’ decision alone), it seems slightly improper to do so in this way. We’re not going to chastise Marcus much for not understanding the way endorsement and equipment deals work - he’s just a freshman in college - but there are several causes for concern here, and nearly all point right back at Dad.
First of all, MJ’s got to put the foot down on this long before it hits the press. For as much as Marcus wants to embrace the family name and all it entails, he hasn’t even come close to being able to dictate shoe deals. Again, he’s just a freshman at UCF. Play ball better than everyone else, get to the pros, then talk sneakers. Not now.
On the other hand, if Michael’s got his fingerprints on this one and is encouraging (or even not actively discouraging) Marcus to demand the ability to wear Air Jordan’s, that’s just plain ridiculous. It’s definitely not financially advantageous for Marcus to do so, but Marcus has to be able to step out from his father’s shadow and play ball his own way, the way everyone else on the team is.
And then this:
UCF said in a statement Thursday that adidas was aware of the situation during contract renewal discussions. The university says it is working with adidas “in determining how this unique set of circumstances will work for both parties.”
Quick translation: adidas isn’t going to pay $3 million if the most high-profile student-athletes start opting out of the shoe deals.
So then, speculative mental exercise time. If all involved parties acquiesce to Marcus (usually an inadvisable decision, when dealing with 18-year-olds; just sayin’), it’s going to be financially disadvantageous for UCF at a time when universities really cannot afford to throw more money out the window. And should that happen, if Michael Jordan doesn’t step up and cover the difference or otherwise make it worth UCF’s while, then that’s extremely selfish and immature - and, unfortunately, right in line with what Chamillionaire was saying.
Don’t make us agree with Chamillionaire, MJ. Be a man, make your son be a man - his own man, at that - and end the story with everyone on the UCF team wearing adidas like the contract says.