USC/Under Armour close to $19M deal

COLUMBIA, SC ( - South Carolina and Under Armour are close to inking a new six-year deal that would outfit all of USC's athletics teams. The $19-million dollar deal is one of athletics director Eric Hyman's goals for the 2010-11 academic year.

Under the deal, Under Armour would pay USC and provides them with apparel, shoes and other clothing items.

Most of the USC programs have already made the switch from brands like Adidas and Nike to Under Armour, a Maryland-based company that first signed on with the Gamecocks in a football-only contract in 2007. According to Hyman, he estimated the deal is about 97-percent complete but, "There are a few things that need to be tweaked."

This year, the men's soccer program ended its relationship with Adidas to join with Under Armour and debuted their new kits in an exhibition against High Point in August. The men's basketball program, according to sources, will also make the switch to Under Armour for the 2010-11 season.

The Gamecocks were one of the first schools in the country to join with Under Armour. The school announced on April 13, 2007 that it would follow Auburn, Maryland, and Texas Tech as clients. That deal was worth $10.8 million. Before that the USC had an agreement with Russell Athletics for $450,000 per year for four sports, according to the university.

The baseball team brought Under Armour its first national championship in its apparel when it defeated UCLA in two games in June. The Gamecocks recently sported the interlocking UA logo on their suit jackets while touring the White House.

Head football coach Steve Spurrier has consistently talked about the baseball team's success and Hyman added that the winning spirit and positive attitude brought by the national championship continues to permeate throughout the athletic department offices.

"I think it just reassures us that we can do it," Hyman said. "If you think you can, you can. If you don't think you can, you'll have a difficult time. It really has gravitated to all the coaches, student-athletes, and they all take immense pride in it. At the White House, the baseball players were talking about the football team and their success against Georgia. You just feed off of each other."

Trustees also heard about Hyman's goals for the coming year for the department, but there was no discussion of an NCAA investigation of the school's football program. Hyman said after the meeting the university is cooperating with the NCAA on the investigation.

Copyright 2010 All rights reserved. AP contributed to this report.