In the wake of Kevin Ware’s a gruesome injury in Sunday’s Elite Eight win against Duke, adidas began selling T-shirts paying tribute to the Louisville sophomore. That plan has now been stopped after public backlash, according to Dan Wolken of USA Today.
Adidas had modified its “Rise to the Occasion” T-shirts, replacing the ‘s’ in ‘Rise’ with Ware’s No. 5. The T-shirts were reported to go for $24.99 a pop, which caused a negative reaction from fans on social media on Wednesday. To many it seemed that the company and the school were profiting off of a devastating injury that made Ware a household name. The T-shirts also shed light on the negative side of college athletics. Ware, a student-athlete, would see none of the T-shirt revenues.
Many of Ware’s teammates, several of which collapsed upon seeing Ware’s injury also reacted negatively.
“I don’t think it’s right,” Peyton Siva said.
Louisville Associate Athletic Director Brent Seebohm said on Wednesday that U of L waived its licensing royalties on the shirts and the money would go to the university’s scholarship fund.
Ware was not unavailable for comment, but Chane Behanan, his best friend on the team told USA Today that Ware had not complained about the sale of the T-shirts.
The 6-foot-3 guard averaged 10.3 points per game, while shooting 42 percent from three, as a freshman. He, along with Malcolm Hill and Michael Thorne Jr., is one of three returning players who averaged double figures last season.
This could prove to be a make-or-break year for John Groce, who enters his fifth season at the helm. He guided the Illini to an NCAA Tournament in his first season, but hasn’t been back since.
The key for the Illini is health. Abrams gives them experience and leadership, but it won’t be a surprise if there’s some rust in his game after spending the past two seasons on the sideline. Having a healthy Coleman-Lands will help stabilize the backcourt, while Hill, an all-conference caliber forward, and Thorne anchor the frontcourt.
Like Alkins, Jones was a sought-after scorer. The 6-foot-4 two-guard was rated No. 69 overall in the Class of 2016 by Rivals. He picked Indiana over offers from Cal, Cincinnati, Georgetown and more than a dozen other high-major programs.
Jeter, the 6-foot-10, played in a reserve role as a freshman, averaging 1.9 points and 1.9 rebounds per game last season. He will be part of a loaded frontline that includes heralded freshmen Harry Giles and Marques Bolden, as well as redshirt senior Amile Jefferson, who returns to the lineup following a foot injury.
The greatest player in Auburn program history will honored with a statue outside of the team’s home arena.
The university announced that Charles Barkley, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer, will be the fourth athlete to be given a statue, joining Heisman Trophy winners Bo Jackson, Pat Sullivan and Cam Newton.
“It just means a great deal to me,” Barkley said in a statement. “Being a kid from Alabama, going to Auburn. I think everybody knows what Auburn means to me. It’s going to be pretty cool.”
Barkley, currently working as an analyst for TNT, was the SEC Player of the Year in 1984, as well as a second team All-American. He averaged 14.1 points and 9.6 rebounds per game in 84 appearances for the Tigers.