Albemarle Athletics Coach Contracts for Free Gear

Some Albemarle high school coaches are getting free athletic gear after inking deals with sporting goods vendors, Sharon Fitzgerald writes in The Daily Progress. The athletic departments at AHS, WAHS, and MHS all signed contracts with vendors without first vetting the agreements with the school system. AHS’s coach athletic director signed up with Adidas, agreeing to buy $30,000 worth of their products each year for the next three years, and agreeing that the teams would wear that gear “when possible.” WAHS’s coach athletic director signed with Russell Athletic, in a contract with no end date, for a 35% discount. And MHS coach athletic director Fitzgerald Barnes signed the most unusual agreement: for two years, they’d buy only Under Armour products—for which they get a 40% discount—and agree to exclusively use Under Armor products, with the coach personally getting $10,000 in free products each year, and other coaches getting a combined $5,000 in free products.

It’s one thing for coaches athletic directors to be entering into unauthorized agreements, but it’s quite another for them to be personally enriched by those agreements. That’s precisely why such agreements are to be approved by the school system—such a kickback would never have been permitted.

04/18 Update: The proper job title for the individuals in question is “athletic director.” Although they might be coaches, there are coaches at each school who are not also athletic directors.

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