UPDATE: Louisville and Adidas Donating Money From Sales Of Kevin Ware Shirt

What looked like another tale of NCAA greed takes an uplifting turn. UPDATE TO THE UPDATE: maybe not?

Prior to the 2013 NCAA tournament Adidas issued redesigned uniforms for some of the programs they sponsor. Their finished product got a lot of negative publicity for obvious reasons.

What got considerably less attention was the inspirational phrase “Rise to the Occasion” that they started printing on team t-shirts.

Final Four teams like Louisville and Michigan have been wearing the shirts as warmups all tournament.

They’ve also been popular among fans.

In the days leading up to Final Four weekend in Atlanta, Adidas has released a new “Rise to the Occasion” t-shirt for the Louisville Cardinals — one that features Kevin Ware’s number.

Notice how the letter “S” in rise has been replaced with the number “5.”

The shirts will undoubtedly be extremely popular among Louisville fans showing support for Ware. But by purchasing the $25.99 t-shirt, these fans will be financially supporting the University of Louisville and Adidas.

Since Ware and his family are not allowed by NCAA rule to profit from the shirt sales, we wondered if perhaps the proceeds would be donated to charity, as otherwise, this is simply an instance of two wealthy institutions capitalizing on one young person’s terrible misfortune. Louisville’s sports information department told us they were not aware of any such plans. We’ve also placed a call to Adidas and will update when and if we hear back from them.

Update - Apr. 3, 10 p.m.: Since our original report, Louisville’s athletic department has announced that they will be waiving the royalty revenue they will receive from sales of the new t-shirt.

CRAWFORD BLOG | #UofL waived royalties from Ware shirt sales - WDRB 41 Louisville

— Eric Crawford (@ericcrawford)

CRAWFORD BLOG | #UofL waived royalties from Ware shirt sales - WDRB 41 Louisville— Eric Crawford

Eric Crawford, Louisville sports columnist for WDRB, quotes U of L associate athletic director Brent Seebohm, who said the school, “proactively decided to waive any traditional licensing royalties revenue connected to the No. 5 graphic to be worn by the team on the court…The shirt was created as a respectful tribute to honor Kevin within NCAA trademark apparel parameters, and allow fans to rally around the team. Because of that, Adidas is contributing a portion of every sell to the university’s scholarship fund.”

Adidas has not announced how much they will be donating per t-shirt.

Update - Apr. 4, 10:15p.m.: The shirts are no longer available, though no reason has been provided for discontinuing their sale. (h/t Darren Rovell)

Check out more articles on!

  Your Reaction?


    Here Are The Top Stories
    • President Obama addressed the 54-member African Union, a first for a sitting U.S. president. The speech marks the end of his historic five-day trip to East Africa.
    • The Boy Scouts of America has ended its ban on gay leaders, two years after lifting a ban on gay youth members.
    • Boston is no longer pursuing a bid to host the 2024 summer Olympics.
    • The Arizona Cardinals have hired the NFL's first female coach.
    Get The News App

    Now Buzzing