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Is Under Armour Costing Maryland Basketball Recruits?

KANSAS CITY, MO - MARCH 21:  Greivis Vasquez #21 of the Maryland Terrapins dribbles the ball upcourt during their second round game against the Memphis Tigers in the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament at the Sprint Center on March 21, 2009 in Kansas City, Missouri. The Tigers defeated the Terrapins 89-70.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Jarrett CarterAnalyst IDecember 11, 2009

Interesting take from Testudo Times about the Under Armour apparel brand and its impact on Maryland recruiting.

The question: Are high school athletes swayed by branding, and can Maryland compete with its exclusive UA agreement?

The answer? Likely doesn’t matter for Maryland. It’s not like the Terrapins’ recruiting pool has dwindled from the Chesapeake Bay to the campus natatorium.

Maryland has, and continues to this day, attracted a few great players and some middle-level talent that can be coached up to be great collegiate athletes. It hasn’t paid off in recent years, but by and large, the fanbase has been satisfied with this approach.

For players like Carmelo Anthony or Kevin Durant, it may matter. They have been Nike and Reebok-laced since the earliest days of AAU. They have coaches and handlers telling them what will be good for their future shoe deals before they take the SATs. That’s the game they’ve chosen to play, and Maryland is fully aware of the rules.

Conversely, Maryland gets billions of points—and dollars—for supporting an alumnus and local business via outfitting and advertising. Very few sports fans, particularly in the Baltimore-Washington area, aren’t familiar with Under Armour commercials or the people starring in them.

The school and the company go hand in hand, and regardless of how attractive they are to blue-chip athletes from out of state, they should keep this game going for as long as they can.

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