Penn State’s New Uniforms

Penn State University has introduced new uniforms in the wake of NCAA sanctions against the team.

According to an article by Joe Juliano of the Philadelphia Inquirer:

Penn State football broke from the past, at least a little, and announced Tuesday that its iconic uniforms will include the player’s name on the back of the jersey starting with the 2012 season opener.

Penn State also announced a blue ribbon, signifying support for the victims of child abuse, would be featured on each uniform. The new look will make its debut Sept. 1, when the Nittany Lions open their season against Ohio at Beaver Stadium.

Historically, Penn State’s jerseys were known for their incredibly simple design. No adornments, no names. The new football coach, Bill O’Brien, apparently felt the names were a good addition because “adding the names meant that each player would hold others accountable in representing the football program,” according to the Juliano article.

Penn State fans are a notoriously traditional group, and the change is likely to be controversial. Joe Paterno, for one, was always opposed to adding surnames to the jerseys, saying he didn’t way any of the players to think they were above the team.

O’Brien said he hoped the fans will also wear their won blue ribbons to future games, “signifying support for the victims of child abuse.”

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer