Kansas athletic director Jeff Long says the athletic department is still processing a potential extension with Adidas that was announced last September but was never signed.
Long, speaking at a KU pep rally at Corinth Square on Friday, said he’d had meetings with both chancellor Douglas Girod and other university officials about the proposed 14-year, $191-million Adidas deal.
“We’re working through that,” Long said. “We’re very optimistic that we’ll finalize everything soon.”
The original oral agreement appeared to hit a snag following the FBI’s investigation into Adidas and its involvement with steering college basketball players. For now, KU remains on the last year of a six-year, $26-million Adidas extension signed in 2013 — a pact that ends in 2019.
“No changes have gone into effect yet,” Long said. “Once we finalize, then we will move forward with the new agreement.”
Long — in his third week on the job after starting Aug. 1 — also was asked about the hiring of Mike Vollmar as an assistant athletic director in charge of overseeing football.
“It’s our largest program. It’s certainly one that has the opportunity to generate the most revenue,” Long said. “We need to invest in our biggest engine, so to speak.”
Long said KU was fortunate that men’s basketball had been a big money-driver in recent years.
“If we can bring football along, we will have the best of both worlds,” Long said. “I am one of those who believe you can be successful in both football and basketball. They are not mutually exclusive, and I believe that. We’re working really hard to make sure we can bring football to that level.”
Vollmar, in his first week, had been in constant communication with Long as they looked to start implementing small improvements.
One change that’s coming: KU will be relocating its 4-foot bronze Jayhawk — currently situated on the back of Anderson Family Football Complex between the locker room and Memorial Stadium — to the front of the building.
Long said head football coach David Beaty was interested in moving the statue, which will require Long to budget some resources for that task.
“It’s a really cool piece, and we want fans and student-athletes to see that every day when they’re coming in the building,” Long said, “Because that’s what they represent.”