NC State released a ton of emails between NCSU and Adidas officials on Friday afternoon in compliance with a FOIA request from WRAL and other media outlets. These documents all were submitted to federal investigators in response to the subpoena handed the school early this year.
The the federal investigation exclusively relates to college basketball and the corruption within recruiting, and as it relates to NC State, the Wolfpack’s recruitment of Dennis Smith Jr.
However, at least in this initial batch of documents, there is virtually no mention of basketball. There are a few emails about uniform choices for March Madness and whatnot between State and Adidas folks, but that’s pretty much it. It’s boring.
Just about all of the rest of it is boring as well, along those very same lines. Lots of marketing-related stuff—when can we expect the uniforms, when can we start to plan for next year’s uniforms, what do you think of this template, or that template, and so on and so on and on and on.
The discussions aren’t limited merely to those things, but that’ll give you an idea of how benign these documents are. It’s just normal people going about their everyday business.
With that preface, here are the bits of interest that I did find:
Dave Doeren is heavily involved in the design and implementation of State’s football uniforms
This came as a surprise to me, but maybe it’s typical of the head coach of a power-conference football program. I dunno; my sample is one.
Doeren was often in the loop on uniform discussions with Adidas point folks, and usually the school would go with his recommendations. Remember the wolf cleats from the Belk Bowl in 2015? Doeren like them, approved ‘em. They were presented by Adidas as part of a unique kit.
Doeren’s been hands-on not only about designs but also when and where they should be used.
Here is a good example: prior to the 2014 season, NC State was working on the very first distinctive set of alternate uniforms of the Doeren era. These here.
State and Adidas went back and forth for months in the lead-up to the year, and there was some stress over whether or not the uniforms would be delivered on time. Doeren wanted to use them against Old Dominion on Sept. 6 (which ended up happening) but there was a fall-back of Sept. 20 against Presbyterian just in case.
This is an email Doeren sent to Adidas/NCSU officials during that preseason:
(FSU was the home game the week following Presbyterian.)
Also, if you have a problem with the pants the team is wearing this year, you go ahead and take that up with Dave. Doeren wanted to go with a stripe-free look this season—these discussions date back to 2016—and was amenable to having WOLFPACK written up the side.
NC State considered wearing 1960s throwback jersey for 2016 game against Notre Dame
When NC State officials were planning for the Carter-Finley 50th anniversary celebration, back in September of 2015—nearly a year in advance—they were already targeting the Notre Dame home game. At that very early stage, there were two uniform proposals, as outlined below in an email from deputy AD Chris Boyer:
Near as I can tell from the subsequent emails, they were actually hoping to reproduce these excellent jerseys from the immediate years prior to 1966, when the striping changed from vertical around the shoulders to horizontal around the sleeves.
Those jerseys are good, but not distinctive—when you think of those vertical stripes, you think first of UCLA, right?
At any rate, Adidas folks quickly chimed in to note that the look would pretty much be impossible given modern constraints (a lack of sleeves and such). Here’s a response email that an Adidas rep sent to State’s equipment guy on the matter:
And so the full late-90s diamond logo outfit was the choice. This was just a matter of the jersey—the diamond logo helmet and pants were happening either way. So it’s probably best that it turned out the way it did.
The “This Is Our State” campaign got nixed right after Doeren’s first season
Here’s an email from Boyer to an Adidas rep in January of 2014, which as you may recall was right after NC State football went 0-8 in league play in Doeren’s first year:
Reasons “not fully anticipated.” Yeah. LIKE HOW IT WOULD BE AN EASY OWN BY OPPONENTS IF YOU WENT 0-8 IN LEAGUE PLAY AND LOST TO DUKE, WAKE, AND UNC IN THE PROCESS. Yeah. That poor first year killed that slogan real quick.