Penn State has announced it will be making a couple of changes to its iconic football uniforms for the upcoming 2012 season.
In addition to adding the players’ names to their signature blue and white jerseys, the school will be including a blue ribbon on the modified uniforms in support of all victims of child abuse in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sex scandal.
“The Penn State community stands with all victims of child abuse,” said Acting Athletic Director David Joyner. “Coach Bill O’Brien and his football team made it clear they want to support victims and bring more awareness to this issue, which affects so many.”
The university announced the changes Tuesday and encouraged all fans to wear a blue ribbon to each of the seven home football games this season.
“We want our fans to know and recognize these young men,” first-year coach Bill O’Brien said of the decision to add the players’ names to the back of their jerseys. “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.”
Prior to the uniform changes, Penn State did not have individual names on the backs of its signature jerseys for 125 years.
According to USA Today, the late coach Joe Paterno hated the idea of putting names on them because he didn’t want players to think they were above the team.
Penn State, which started practice Monday, will debut its new uniforms during its season opener at home against Ohio University on September 1.