Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson is pretty happy with his school’s apparel affiliation this week.
Johnson made an appearance on the David Glenn Show ahead of his team’s game against North Carolina. Johnson was asked about facing the Tar Heels, but Glenn also asked the Yellow Jackets coach about the scandal embroiling college basketball.
If you haven’t been following it, the FBI announced Tuesday it had indicted 10 men, including several active (some of whom have since been fired) assistant basketball coaches and an executive from adidas, as part of an investigation into bribes in the sport.
Specifically, as our Dan Wetzel wrote, the FBI exposed the “worst-kept secret in college basketball” where “coaches, sneaker executives, sports agents, travel-team coaches and financial advisers, often through under-the-table payments, steer top high school talent first to NCAA programs and later to apparel brands and professional representation once they enter the NBA.” The scandal resulted in the ouster of Rick Pitino from Louisville, where a player is accused of accepting $100,000 to play for the Cardinals.
Adidas is accused of funneling money to recruits while Nike’s main youth basketball program has also reportedly received a subpoena from the FBI. Russell — which is ceasing production of athletic uniforms — isn’t exactly the most hip apparel company and is nowhere near the level of the Nikes, Adidas and Under Armours of the world, which is why Johnson isn’t worried.
“When this broke, I jokingly said for once in our life we were glad that we were with Russell,” Johnson said with a laugh (around the 8:30 mark below).
However, when its deal with Russell expires in June 2018, Georgia Tech is making the switch to Adidas.
But for now, Johnson can keep laughing.
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