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New Uniform Styles Can Be An Affront To The Eyes
March 14, 2013
Wendell Barnhouse is a nationally-known and respected columnist who has spent over 20 years covering collegiate athletics. He has reported from 25 Final Fours and more than three dozen bowl games and has written about the Big 12 and its schools since the conference's beginning. Barnhouse will be updating the Big 12 Insider on happenings and behind-the-scenes information about the conference.

Your Humble Correspondent asks permission to rant. The recent trend is for equipment companies to "advertise" their new lines by asking the schools to wear the new stuff in games, games that are being televised. The companies pay the schools to wear their gear so the schools are compelled to comply.

As YHC is approaching 60, he readily admits to being out of touch with what the young kids like. It was 20 years ago when Michigan's Fab Five started wearing knee-length, baggy shorts. Ten years prior to that, Georgetown's Patrick Ewing started the craze of wearing a t-shirt under his jersey.

That's all well and good. After all, the uniform(s) remained the same.

Based on recent developments, there is nothing uniform about uniforms. Anything goes in the name of fashion and moving merchandise. (And, apparently, the passive advertising is working well and the new styles are flying off the racks at sporting goods stores.)

But "anything goes" is going too far. YHC appoints himself as commissioner of the fashion police. Cincinnati wore these unis in the Big East Conference tournament. YHM says that's why the Big East dissolved.

In its first-round game against Texas Tech Thursday, Kansas wore new uniforms as part of adidas' marketing campaign. The shorts' design is what makes YHC's eyes bleed. We're playing basketball here, not making a trip to the beach.

Baylor added insult to fashion injury with a similar style for its quarterfinal game. And YHC is on record that he liked Baylor's bright yellow "highlighter" uniforms that debuted last season.

These uniforms that have a shredded look are being described as "camouflage" which is an insult to that word. Caomouflage is supposed to make you blend in to the surroundings.

Uniforms are supposed to have the school colors and the numbers and conform to whatever rules are stipulated. The new uniforms being marketed aren't illegal based on NCAA guidelines.

The coaches of the schools committing these uniform turnovers say that the players love wearing the new styles. Fine. Then YHC can say he thinks it's silly and that the uniform combinations, colors and styles are ugly.

YHC also realizes that this is about stacks of dead presidents. YHC just wishes the adults at the schools act like they're in charge. Tell the equipment companies, "Thanks, but no thanks."

And while I'm thinking about it ... GET OFF MY LAWN!



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