“Spatting” is a growing issue in college sports, causing tension among shoe companies, universities and their athletes. Used as a term describing the practice of taping a player's ankle and shoe together to provide extra support, spatting has led to controversy in particular in college football. When medical tape goes over an athlete's shoes, brand logos end up being covered and, as shoe companies see it, sponsorship dollars are wasted. Companies such as Nike, Adidas and Under Armour have taken note of this in their contracts with colleges and have put in clauses to limit the number of taped-up ankles among players that take the field.

While some of this could be resolved with alternative advertising strategies, more fundamental questions are being raised. Athletes' decisions to follow a recommended medical procedure can be at odds with commercial contracts that don't involve financial compensation for the players, but do for their schools.

USA TODAY gave a detailed description of the situation, examining aspects from health risks and personal rights issues to legal plights and financial concerns. Watch this animated video explainer to learn more about the spat over spatting.