Under Armour responds to UCLA in legal battle

TUCSON, AZ - OCTOBER 14: A UCLA Bruins players adjusts his Under Armour cleats during the college football game between the UCLA Bruins and the Arizona Wildcats on October 14, 2017, at Arizona Stadium in Tucson, AZ. Arizona defeated UCLA 47-30. (Photo by Carlos Herrera/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Under Armour’s ongoing legal battle with UCLA is far from over. In a recent statement, the sports apparel company called UCLA’s claims a “sham” while criticizing the new complaint.

“UCLA’s [second amended complaint] is a sham pleading because it intentionally omits prior allegations from the [first] complaint and federal complaing that are fatal to UCLA’s claims. Unable to add additional facts to remedy the complaint’s fatal flaws…UCLA instead deleted harmful admissions from its [first amended complaint] and [second amended complaint].”

Under Armour

UCLA sued the company last year after they canceled their $280 million deal with the school. According to UCLA, this went against the contract’s terms. However, Under Armour claimed that the Covid-19 pandemic “upended the deal.”

In response, UCLA sued, claiming that the pandemic failed to qualify as a ‘force majeure’ event. A ‘force majeure’ is an unforeseeable circumstance that could lead to a breach of contract. UCLA’s Mary Osako claimed that the school met all terms in the contract.

“UCLA has met the terms of the agreement, which does not require that games in any sport be played on a particular schedule. We filed this lawsuit in order to support our student-athletes and the broader UCLA community, including the athletic department that has brought 118 national championships to Westwood.”

Mary Osako, Vice Chancellor of Strategic Communications

However, the company reported that UCLA admitted to the pandemic being a force majeure behind closed doors despite the later denial.

Additionally, UCLA’s teams failed to play full seasons due to the virus outbreak. This served as another point of argument for Under Armour, who pointed to the baseball game that played just 16 games rather than a scheduled 57.

From the company’s perspective, the contract failed due to the pandemic disrupting the game schedule of college sports. UA didn’t initially blame UCLA, but conflict erupted after UA announced the contract termination. They also cited the 2020 bribery scandal that plagued UCLA’s men’s soccer team.

UCLA sees it differently as they believe the pandemic is no reason to cancel the contract. In other conferences across the nation, Covid-19 barely inhibited college sports. However, the PAC-12 enacted strict rules and season changes in response to the virus. A hearing is set for August 26.

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