Thursday, October 20, 2005
If the shoe fits: Adidas will allow Nichols to shop
JONESBORO, Ark. -- Adidas said Thursday it would not require
an Arkansas State basketball player to wear two of its shoes -- but
would let Jerry Nichols look through its selection of footwear with
the hope that he will pick something the company makes.
"We're going to meet with him and try to reach a solution,"
said Kelly Olmstead, a spokeswoman for Portland, Ore.-based adidas.
"But we're not coming down there to tell him that he has to wear
Nichols said he suffered an injury in adidas shoes and wants to
wear Nikes while playing for the Indians. Arkansas State has a
contract with adidas, and athletic director Dean Lee told Nichols
he had to wear its footwear. Nichols has skipped practices since
Lee confirmed Thursday that adidas had granted a waiver of its
contract as it applied to Nichols, and Nichols only.
"He will be back [practicing] with the team," Lee said. "With
this waiver from Adidas, he will be able to participate with
In a university press release, Nichols apologized to the team's
fans for "all the confusion that was caused in this process."
"I'm very proud to be a part of this university," Nichols
said. "I'm also thankful to adidas. Finally, I want to apologize
to my teammates and coaches for the whole ordeal."
Olmstead said Thursday that the dispute was between Lee and
Nichols. She said the company would like Nichols to wear its shoes,
and would try to accommodate him, but that Nichols' refusal would
have no bearing on the adidas-Arkansas State pact.
Arkansas State practiced at mid-afternoon but team spokesman
Bill Bowen said he didn't know whether Nichols was in attendance.
Lee did not immediately return calls for comment.
Coach Dickey Nutt said he was hopeful that a new pair of shoes
would bring Nichols back to practice. Nichols is the Indians' top
"We're excited about that and we're hopeful that he will make
the decision to wear that and that it's something that feels
comfortable to him," Nutt said Wednesday.
Adidas was sending company representative Ginger Tivey to
Jonesboro to meet with Nichols and hear his concerns.
"We're always interested in hearing from athletes about our
products," Olmstead said.