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First Day Of NCAA vs. NIT Trial

Everyone who is involved with or interested in college basketball has at least a
passing interest in the sneaker wars, but few will have a keener interest in
the proposed buyout of Reebok by adidas
than Sonny Vacarro, who has worked
for first Nike then adidas and now Reebok. The impression we got was that
he did not leave either Nike or adidas happily, and he may not be overly
thrilled about working for adidas again.

And even if they keep the brand, is there a logical reason to keep two talent
systems? Maybe.

Keeping two systems up (or establishing two tracks) vs. Nike's one might make
sense in that it keeps roughly 2/3's of the available talent away from
Nike. But other than that, you'd think they'd fold things together to cut

So if Vacarro did leave adidas under unhappy circumstances, where would this
leave him?

The NIT's anti-trust case against the NCAA opened on Tuesday, and while we're
not experts, it seems to us that the
NCAA made a couple of very solid points
which the NIT will have a tough time

  1. The suit was filed decades after the damages allegedly occured
  2. The NIT asked the NCAA for help in 1985 and to establish the wonderful
    pre-season NIT. The NCAA obliged.
  3. No member of the NCAA - including the five schools which make up the the Metropolitan Intercollegiate Basketball
    Association ( Fordham,, Manhattan College, St. John's, Wagner, and NYU)
    which runs the NIT - had ever complained about the rules the lawsuit
    challenges or tried to change them.
  4. The NIT agreed to let the NCAA select their teams first back in 1962.

Now presumably the argument here is over expansion of the NCAA
Tournament. But that idea was heavily pushed by NCAA members, including
Maryland, which was infuriated that they could be the third best team in the
country in 1974 and still not make the national tournament because they lost to
N.C. State and David Thompson in the ACC Finals.

It was a logical argument then, and now, and we'd hope that the NCAA would
point out that the successive expansions of the tournament were viewed very
favorably by most members.