IU tells Adidas to shove it, thankfully.

Joe Robbins

On at least two occasions this year, IU's administration has been given the opportunity to wear awful alternate jerseys. Thankfully, it hasn't happened yet.

Yes, Adidas. I capitalized your name in the headline to this post. I'm thankful that IU has a lucrative uniform contract, but I'm much more thankful that the IU administration has been wise enough to turn down alternate uniforms twice this year. My guess, and it is purely a guess, is that IU is leaving some cash on the table by not degrading itself. If so, I'm even happier with IU's leaders. The photo above provides one of the worst examples of this year's first round of Adidas alternates. Even with a closeup photo like the one above, it's only barely possible to read "IRISH" on Notre Dame's jersey and not possible to read the player names. Anyone who watched any part of this game (ND's win over Kentucky) on television knows that it was impossible to see any detail. It's one thing to innovate with uniform design, but quite another to design uniforms that detract from viewers' experience.

I understand that IU fans are more attached than most to IU's uniforms, to the candy-striped warmups, and to the absence of names on IU's jerseys. While there have been slight changes to the color, the cut, and the font, IU's current uniforms are a very close relation to the uniforms IU has worn since 1972. I accept that most schools don't have such attachment. But I don't think anything justifies the monstrosities that are being unveiled today. You simply have to click through. I can accept that programs such as Notre Dame and Baylor, which have histories of wearing outlandish uniforms, might go down this road, but Kansas? Louisville? KU and UL are good enough to win the NCAA Tournament. Is the short-term financial game really worth it? Do those schools really want their alumni to explain to their grandchildren in 40 years why KU was dressed like that?

I am, like nearly all IU fans, a uniform crumudgeon. Still, I think these things are beyond the pale by any standard. I'm glad IU won't be wearing them.

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