Written By Sammy Jacobs (@Hoosier_Huddle)
When Indianapolis Star reporter Zach Osterman broke the news that Indiana would be signing an extension with adidas for $53.6 million over eight years Monday evening, my first reaction was 'ugh, adidas'. However, after my initial reaction, I thought 'what can IU football do with $6.7 million a year?'. While the football program will not see the all of the $6.7 million, they can definitely use a large chunk of that money to improve the program. So where will this mega-deal help Indiana football? Let's take a look.
1. Alternate Uniforms and Helmets
Osterman's piece alluded to adidas providing "alternate uniforms and helmets for Indiana's football program".
Everyone who follows college sports knows that recruits absolutely love alternate uniforms and helmets. IU has already seen the addition of the chrome striped helmet and another white helmet over the past few years, but new looks come out for almost every team on a yearly basis. So there can be some really cool ideas in the works for the next IU helmet. One idea I would like to see is a matte crimson helmet. But with great ideas always comes bad execution. My biggest fear is for the Hoosiers to go back to a black alternate uniform. This cannot happen. While it may be 'cool' black is not an IU color and every school does it (which is why the candy striped helmet works).
Added into this category is the fact that adidas will run a "full branding audit" in hopes of getting the correct shade of crimson for all of the Hoosier sports teams. Hey, if you are going to sponsor a college team, at least get the colors correct.
2. Memorial Stadium Upgrades
While nothing official has come out about a potential new structure in the south zone of Memorial Stadium, there has been rumors flying around. Memorial Stadium, home of the Hoosiers since 1960, needs several key upgrades to keep up with the big boys of the Big Ten. First, the turf needs to be replaces. It was installed in 2008 after a sink hole had formed in the south end zone after a heavy rain storm. The field looks faded on TV and its quality is not nearly as nice as the practice field.
Beyond the playing surfacing, bathrooms and concession stands in and around the stadium are in dire need of a facelift. The current bathrooms are usually over crowded and feature troths in the men's rooms.
Finally, the money can be used to fund the long rumored plans of a new building in the south end zone that would fully enclose the horse shoe that is Memorial Stadium. The amount of money IU is going to receive is nice, but the things they could do to Memorial Stadium with it could be much nicer and more important.
3. Paying Coaches
One way or the other the 2015 football season will mean IU will have to pony up for a new contact. Whether that is for an extension for Kevin Wilson or to draw a new coach to Bloomington will depend on how this season turns out, but either way IU has to invest more in its football coach. The Hoosier athletic department needs to realize this money should be treated as an investment, instead of a payout for its athletic programs.
Indiana is now getting paid like one of the big boys on the block , now they need to spend some of that money to catch up with them on the field and in the arms race that are facilities.