Sunday, August 27, 2006

Derrick Rose Recruitment: Do You Wear Adidas?

There was a Chicago Sun-Times article yesterday that is of considerable interest to Illini fans regarding Derrick Rose's recruitment. Basically, he lists his final five schools and Illinois isn't on the list.

At face value, this may feed into the "Bruce Weber can't recruit" mantra. However, as usual there is more to this than meets the eye. Unfortunately some folks who write about sports for a living (like this guy and this guy) sometimes get lazy and decide not to dig a little deeper and report the whole story. Steve Tucker, are you reading this?

Here is the skinny: Rose's brother Reggie gave Tucker his list of schools, which include (in alphabetical order): DePaul, Indiana, Kansas, Memphis and UCLA.

Anyone who is anyone knows that Reggie Rose is the coach of Derrick Rose's AAU team, Mean Streets Express. But upon further investigation, Mean Street Express is changing its shoe contract from Nike to Adidas.

Now, if you look at the final five schools that Reggie Rose mentioned (including the unofficial visits to Marquette and Notre Dame) they are ALL Adidas schools.

And, just to tie it together, which athletic company has a contract with the Fighting Illini? If you guessed not Adidas you are a genius. It's Nike.

If you think all this is merely coincidence, I have a nice condo overlooking the Pacific in Arizona to sell you.

And just to further the argument, where were North Caroline, Duke etc. during this recruitment? (I caution you to check who their shoe contracts were with before you answer that question.)

Finally, is this what recruiting in college hoops has come to? If so, I'm not sure I like it.

Of course, hoping the NCAA will try and put a stop to it is wishful thinking. I wouldn't trust them to draw me a picture, let alone figure out a way to keep the athletic apparel companies from playing a part in this. They're too busy trying to figure out how to get rid of the Chief.

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