Penn State could be changing their football uniforms again. Three years after removing the white neckline from the home blue uniforms and blue neckline from the road white uniforms, the striping looks like it could possibly, potentially, perhaps be making a return. Maybe.
In recent weeks Penn State football players have already been seen wearing football uniforms in public showing off the new, yet old, look. This photo gallery from Patriot News photographer Joe Hermitt shows many current Nittany Lions players wearing home jerseys with a white neckline, although the road white uniform appears to be solid white with no blue neckline or sleeve striping to be seen. The pictures are from a recent Uplifting Athletes event prior to a home basketball game. The players took part in a number of activities with children and signed autographs while wearing these jerseys.
Penn State removed the striping from their jerseys before the 2011 season. The changes were subtle but were not received well by some fans. In 2012 former head coach Bill O’Brien added last names of players to jerseys, which caused even more of an uproar for some despite it being a way to recognize players who chose to stay with the program after NCAA sanctions were levied against the program. Penn State also added a blue ribbon to the back of the football helmet to pay tribute to victims of child abuse. In 2013 all Big Ten teams added the updated Big Ten logo to their jerseys. Penn State also played their final home game of the 2012 season with a No. 42 on the helmets in honor of team leader Michael Mauti, who suffered a season-ending injury.
James Franklin comes off as a guy who is understanding and appreciative of the history and tradition within the program, so major tweaks to the football uniform are probably not likely. But a simple twist to return to the more familiar jerseys seems much more plausible. Penn State has a contract with Nike, and despite past attempts to provide an alternative look, Penn State has stayed true to their roots when it comes to the uniform. We’ll see if anything else happens to change.
Penn State has not commented on the potential uniform change for the 2014 season. It is entirely possible the jerseys already seen will not be the official jerseys worn in the fall. These jerseys also did not have names on the jerseys, so they could have just been used for special or one-time use, while more official jerseys will be organized and put together later. Some programs have already announced or leaked uniform changes for 2014, which is not uncommon this time of the year, but we will just have to wait and see what Penn State ends up doing.