Penn State players will soon be easily identified with their names on the… (Gene Puskar / Associated…)
Penn State’s iconic no-frills football uniforms -- once a symbol of discipline, unity and team over individualism -- will undergo major changes for the upcoming season. For the first time, player names will be displayed on the backs of the jerseys and the uniform will feature a blue ribbon, the symbol for child abuse awareness.
Months ago, new Coach Bill O’Brien said the school’s uniforms wouldn’t change from the design favored by Joe Paterno for much of his 46 years as head coach. However, in a team meeting O’Brien said the group decided that adding names would hold everyone accountable in representing Penn State football.
Penn State faces a four-year bowl ban and loss of scholarships under the penalties given by the NCAA last month over the school's handling of the Jerry Sandusky scandal. The former Penn State assistant football coach was arrested and convicted on child sex abuse charges.
In a statement, O’Brien wrote: “We want our fans to know and recognize these young men. They have stuck together during tough times and I commend them for the leadership they have shown. Moving forward, I’m deeply committed to honoring Penn State’s traditions, while building a bright future for our football program.”
The Nittany Lions will wear the uniforms for the first time in their Sept. 1 season opener at home against Ohio.
Added O’Brien: “We hope our fans join us in wearing blue ribbons to all Penn State home games. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of children everywhere."
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