Miami Hurricanes' 27-Year Run With Nike May Be Ending

The 1987 University of Miami Hurricanes team is justly famous for any number of reasons. Michael Irvin. Brian Blades. Swagger. An undefeated campaign and an infamous comeback over FSU.

But that season is historic for another reason as well: It marked the first time a school had signed a big money, all-sports contract with a brand. For 27 years, UM and Nike have been partners in swag -- but that marriage looks like it may be coming to an end.

Ready for some Under Armour camo unis, Canes nation?

UM and Nike's contract expires next August and so far it hasn't been renewed. And Canes Athletic Director Blake James confirms this morning to the Palm Beach Post that both Adidas and Under Armour have submitted bids worth millions more than what Nike has put on the table to date.

Other sources tell the Post that they don't expect Nike to match those offers; Adidas may be the frontrunner to outfit the team, since the brand lost out on Notre Dame and Tennessee's deals last year.

Yeah, "brand identity" is one of the most annoying and artificial parts of modern college sports and the one-school, one-brand concept pioneered by Nike and UM has now spun off the rails into some truly odious byproducts. (Who can forget the annual absurdity of watching sideline reporters at the NCAA tourney forced to pour whatever they're drinking into cups with the logo of the "official soft drink of the tournament.")

But there's also something deeply nostalgic for Canes fans about those brash Nike unis, probably because their genesis began with that legendary '87 squad.

It's going to be weird seeing the orange and green come out next year in something other than the Swoosh:

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Tim Elfrink is a former investigative reporter and managing editor for Miami New Times. He has won the George Polk Award and was a finalist for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting.
Contact: Tim Elfrink