South Carolina Forced To Change Out Of UA's Wounded Warrior Jerseys Prior To Game
An SEC spokesperson said that game officials asked the Univ. of South Carolina (USC) football team to "switch out of their military-benefit uniforms after pregame warmups because the numbers were hard to see,” according to Andrew Shain of the Columbia STATE. USC was wearing “special black jerseys with gray and black numbers and trimming as part of a tribute for wounded veterans and their families” for Saturday’s game against Auburn. The “gray and black print in the numbers were stars and stripes in honor of the 10th anniversary of 9/11.” Under Armour “unveiled the jerseys 11 days ago, but about a half hour before kickoff, game officials had the Gamecocks switch out of the uniforms that benefit the Wounded Warrior Project.” A UA spokesperson said that the school “approved the jersey design.” SEC Associate Dir of Media & PR Chuck Dunlap said that schools are “not required to have design approved by the SEC and conference officials are unaware of any NCAA review requirement.” Dunlap expects that ADs “will discuss reviewing new jersey designs when they meet in December.” Dunlap: “We want to make sure this never happens again.” USC Associate AD Charles Waddell: “Under Armour is very sorry about the situation. Next time we’ll make sure to have our I’s dotted and T’s crossed” (Columbia STATE, 10/2). The Wounded Warrior jerseys “will be auctioned off with the funds raised going to the project’s ‘Believe in Heroes’ campaign.” Similar jerseys “are to be worn by Texas Tech on Nov. 12 and South Florida on Nov. 19” (AP, 10/1).
RECRUITING TOOL: In Oklahoma City, Gina Mizell writes uniforms are “a way to appeal to student-athletes -- both current ones and potential ones.” Univ. of Wyoming football coach Dave Christensen said that he "approached Nike about adding uniform elements to use as a recruiting tool.” Christensen: “It's just another avenue to get in front of recruits and get them excited about what we're doing.” Mizell noted the "chance to make money is also involved.” Oklahoma State Univ.’s new contract with Nike, “which was amended to reflect the new uniforms, gives the university $1.7 million in athletic apparel over the next two years.” For every Nike replica uniform sold at retail outlets, “about $3.50 comes back to the school.” With four jersey options, “there is a greater opportunity to sell more” (THE OKLAHOMAN, 10/1).