Ann Arbor sneaker seller Yutaka Morishima confirmed that a member of the University of Michigan’s football team sold him a pair of Michigan Air Jordan 12’s in early December of 2017, which he later resold on StockX. ESPN reported late Friday evening that Michigan, alongside California and Marquette, were investigating whether or not team issued shoes had been re-sold.
University of Michigan Football team spokesman Dave Ablauf told MLive’s Aaron McMann, “Our compliance office is looking into the matter and will determine if anything needs to be reported to the NCAA.”
Despite the University reporting nothing official yet it can be verified that Michigan football players were in fact selling their team issued sneakers, a NCAA violation that could result in any player involved being handed a suspension.
Yutaka bought a pair of Michigan Jordan 12’s, one of the most sought after Player Exclusive (PE) sneakers on the market, from a member of the Michigan football team. Although the shoes didn’t come directly from the man himself, the pair belonged to a #52 as indicated on the heel tab of the sneaker.
Although Yutaka had no direct connections to the team, he says he “Came into contact [with the player] through a third party who was well connected and versed with the world of sneakers and streetwear.”
After contact was established the negotiating period took time. Initially, the UofM athlete was requesting $4,000 for his size 14 sneaker. $4,000 was out of the market for Yutaka.
“Given the size of the pair of sneakers and the extent I was connected to others at the time, $2,200 was the maximum I was willing to spend on a pair of sneakers that have a very elastic and niche market.”
Discretion was key during the negotiation stage. The athlete who owned the shoes never wanted direct contact with Yutaka.
“The players expressed and acknowledged that this was indeed an NCAA violation,” Yutaka added.
Text messages between Yutaka and the intermediary highlight the need for secrecy.
Yutaka and the third party haggled back and forth until eventually coming down to $2,200 to make the sale. The two met in-person shortly there after and made the transaction. Yutaka walked away with the shoes and the third party walked away with the cash.
This Michigan Jordan wasn’t the last pair offered to Yutaka, but it is the only pair he purchased.
“There were definitely opportunities to buy more [pairs], I was texted more offers to buy different Jordan models.”
Not only did Yutaka purchase the shoe from a player, he sold the shoe on StockX, which fits the description of fellow Jordan Brand schools who are struggling with this issue.
The University of North Carolina ran into the same problem with team issued sneakers appearing on StockX’s online sneaker marketplace that lead to players being suspended after the school self reported the violation.
Whether or not the pairs currently listed on the marketplace belong to former players is to be determined. However, it can be confirmed that Michigan athlete’s have been selling their team issued Jordan’s and they have also ended up on StockX.