College Uniforms Now a Fashion Battleground

Schools get bold (and rich) in bid to draw attention
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 15, 2011 4:50 PM CDT
LaMichael James of the Oregon Ducks returns a punt for a touchdown against the Nevada Wolf Pack on September 10.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – College sports uniforms are getting seriously funky as outfitters such as Nike and Under Armor shell out big money to schools only too happy to take it, report the New York Times and Washington Post in similar stories on the trend. Both see the University of Maryland (with 32 possible uniform combinations) as a prime example of garishness this year, and both note that Army and Navy will be wearing duds from Nike's futuristic "Pro Combat" line in their December game. The main motives cited aren't all that surprising: merchandising, jersey sales, and drawing the interest of more young fans and high school recruits.

“There’s the potential to alienate some boosters and alums who write the checks, sure," Paul Lukas, editor of tells the Post. But "they think the attention, even if it’s negative, is good.” The Times story also features a quote from Lukas about how the "trend in uniform design is more toward making costumes for superheroes than uniforms for athletes."

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