The University of Michigan’s athletics compliance office is investigating whether any student-athletes violated NCAA rules with regard to shoe resales.
North Carolina suspended 13 football players earlier this week after the school found that they committed secondary violations by selling team-issued Nike shoes. Per reports, a retailer who obtained the shoes said it also bought team-issued shoes from Michigan, Cal and Marquette.
Michigan athletics spokesman Dave Ablauf told the Free Press via a statement Friday night that the school is aware of the situation and is investigating the matter.
“We are aware of the report at North Carolina. Our compliance office is looking into this matter and will determine if anything needs to be reported to the NCAA,” he wrote.
ESPN reported Friday that shoe-marketplace site “StockX” found 23 pairs of Michigan team-issued shoes on its exchange. This doesn’t necessarily mean those shoes were sold by players, Ablauf said, Michigan gives team-issued shoes to executives, celebrities and to charity. Former players who are no longer with the program may also still be in possession of team-issued shoes.
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Ablauf told ESPN that players are required to sign forms that outline shoe resales as an NCAA violation. He said the team’s equipment staff marks the team-issued shoes with a player’s name or uniform number.
Michigan’s football and basketball programs are outfitted exclusively by Jordan Brand. The rest of the athletic department programs are outfitted by Nike. Michigan athletics signed an 11-year deal with Nike (and Jordan Brand) worth roughly $174 million in 2016.
Per NCAA bylaw 184.108.40.206, “an item received for participation in intercollegiate athletics may not be sold or exchanged or assigned for another item of value.”
North Carolina’s football program ultimately suspended 13 players for two to four games after they were found to be in violation of NCAA rule. The school also reportedly disciplined some football staffers after the violations came to light.
Michigan football opens its 2018 season Sept. 1 at Notre Dame. The men’s basketball program is set to make a nine-day, three-game exhibition tour of Spain starting next Friday.
Contact Nick Baumgardner: [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @nickbaumgardner.
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