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ADIDAS OFFICIAL CLAIMS EXEC WITH NCAA TIES MADE SECRET OFFER
Published February 5, 1999
adidas Dir of Sports Marketing Robert Erb testified Wednesday that a Collegiate Licensing Co. exec with ties to the NCAA "discretely offered to help the shoe company circumvent on-going NCAA uniform compliance problems if adidas would participate in the NCAA licensing program -- a program adidas wasn't interested in," according to Steve Rock of the K.C. STAR. Erb: "He didn't physically intimidate me. It was like `You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours.'" Erb's testimony came during the third day of a preliminary injunction hearing in which adidas is challenging an NCAA rule limiting the use of commercial logos on athletes' uniforms to no more than 2 1/4 square inches. According to testimony, the NCAA "has rejected scores of adidas uniforms because some part of the design element -- and not necessarily the adidas logo -- contains three stripes." The NCAA countered Erb's testimony regarding his conversations with the CLC exec by saying that Erb made no written account of it. When adidas attorneys at one point "feared testimony was involving trade secrets," they tried to get the courtroom cleared of people not involved with the case, but to no avail. The hearing is now in recess until Tuesday afternoon (K.C. STAR, 2/4).