The D.C. Assault AAU team, most often remembered as a program that, until recently, dispersed local basketball talent away from the University of Maryland, will soon be no more, according to Jeff Ermann of IMS:
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>Per sources, DC Assault is done. Under Armour will re-brand w/a new flagship AAU program called D.C. Premier. More: <a href="http://t.co/crX4YchqdC">http://t.co/crX4YchqdC</a></p>— Jeff Ermann (@insidemdsports) <a href="https://twitter.com/insidemdsports/statuses/376029646183075840">September 6, 2013</a></blockquote>
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After D.C. Assault founder Curtis Malone's recent arrest on federal drug charges, many were unsure how the AAU program he founded would be impacted. Well, it appears that we now know the answer to that question. It would have been hard for the program to get out from under the Malone umbrella had it continued operating under it's current name, so this appears to be an attempt by Under Armour, who now sponsors the team, to re-brand and distance themselves from Malone as much as possible. There could be a good reason for that, beyond the recent federal drug charges Malone is facing.
Malone is also a party to a recently reopened court case that involves NBA player Michael Beasley and what appears to be a talent agency group based in Gaithersburg, MD, Bell Sports, Inc. Adidas America is also a named party in the suit. Beasley signed an endorsement deal with Adidas in September of 2008. The case appeared to be resolved in 2012, but was recently reopened and is now slated to go before the Maryland Court of Special Appeals. Additionally, the state of Maryland filed a civil case against Malone in July of 2013 for a $12,178 tax lien.
Malone appears to have a number of legal battles on his hands, so it's understandable that Under Armour doesn't want to continue associating and sponsoring a program that is so associated and tied to his name. Closing down the team and beginning anew as D.C. Premier allows the team to forge a new identity that hopefully parents and others will no longer associate with Malone. I don't suspect this change will harm Maryland's recently positive relationship with D.C. Assault, but it will be something to keep an eye on moving forward.
Testudo Times legal expert Matthew D. Royack, Esq. contributed to this article