Monthly Archives: November 2019

Muhlenberg-SUNY Brockport: Daniel happy to be part of Mules postseason success

Mitch Daniel is an undersized possession receiver with speed who gets lost at the snap weaving among linemen and linebackers until he pops into the foreground — suddenly with the ball, racing upfield.

Former Muhlenberg College football coach Mike ”Duke” Donnelly knew he wanted a player like Daniel, who scored a school-record 27 touchdowns his senior year in the Colonial League. After being unable to speak to Daniel on the first school visit, Donnelly made a second recruiting trip to Notre Dame High School three years ago to pitch his program to the speedy running back more interested in going to college at Pitt than joining a college roster.

Suddenly sold on the Mules, Daniel enrolled. At the first practice he targeted the meeting for running backs.

“Where are you going?” Donnelly asked.

“I’m a running back,” Daniel answered.

“No, you’re not,” Donnelly clarified. ”You’re over there. You’re a receiver now.”

Now a junior on fourth-ranked Muhlenberg’s 11-0 team, Daniel sees the wisdom in Donnelly’s vision.

He’s caught 40 balls (second-most on the team) for 511 yards and four touchdowns this season.

He ignited the offense in Week One by hauling in a 25-yard pass and scored the team’s first touchdown this year against the College of New Jersey. He added a 30-yard score later that game.

Last week he caught four passes for 32 yards in the first half as the Mules blanked MIT 38-0 in the opening round of the NCAA tournament.

Muhlenberg will need to make SUNY Brockport’s nationally-leading run defense move and tire with short passes Saturday in the noon showdown at Scotty Wood Stadium in Allentown. Brockport advanced out of the first round with a 33-28 victory at Western New England. The Golden Eagles (9-2) are playing in their third-straight NCAA tournament after winning the Empire Eight Conference.

Their defense limits opponents to 14.5 points per game, ranking 14th in Division III.

“Points are going to be at a premium this week,” Muhlenberg head coach Nate Milne said.
Getting the ball to Daniel and Centennial Conference scholar-athlete award winner Max Kirin, along with all-American tight end Ryan Curtiss, could help offset the Eagles’ pass rush.

While Muhlenberg has outscored opponents 42-11 on average, the margin for error shrinks in the Sweet 16.

Last week’s pre-game script called for short passes to open room for the running games. Expect that again this week.

 

“I think that’s always critical at the skill positions to have speed,” said Milne of Daniel. “It may not be the most important thing. You need guys with size at the receiver, some with speed, and some with wiggle. Mitch has a little bit of wiggle and a lotta bit of speed.”

Daniel’s grandfather Michael “Mitch” Elias came to the United States from Lebanon by himself to live with his uncle Joe Daniel. The Daniels took in Michael Elias to help get him treatment for polio; he assumed their surname.

“Some of my cousins are Daniel and some area Elias,” Mitch said. “I would say it’s like 30 percent Daniel and 70 percent Elias.”

Now one of the family names is being broadcast on the back of Muhlenberg’s No. 26 as members of Easton’s Lebanese community come out to support Mitch, the grandson who’s running with his opportunity.

 

They understand what it’s taken just for Mitch to get on the field.

Freshman year: broken ankle.

Sophomore year: bedridden at times with mononucleosis.

Junior year: Game 1—two touchdowns. A return to the Mitch of Old.

 

He needed that initial touchdown against TCNJ for several reasons.

“That kind of gave me the confidence to know I belong on the field with these guys,” Daniel said. “I faked the corner route, went back to the post route, and it was open.”

Last year, as Muhlenberg advanced to the national quarterfinals at Mount Union in Ohio, Daniel watched the game in Pennsylvania on his laptop. A win Saturday would put him and his teammates back in the quarterfinal round against the Salisbury-Union winner.

“We definitely want to get on the pass game early,” Daniel said. “They play a lot of man-to-man defense. As receivers we’re just going to have to beat that. It’s on us to get open and give the quarterback a target. If receivers can get open, that will greatly improve our chances for success.”

 

Daniel might lull the defense to sleep, then sprint into his rightful place.

“It feels great to be back,” he said. “I’ve been waiting two years to get back and show them what I can do.”

Alumni represent Latrobe on college courts across country

One town’s name keeps popping up on college basketball rosters all over the place, up and down the East Coast.

From New England to Florida — and many stops in between — “Latrobe” is a common hometown among lists that also include jersey numbers, classes, heights and positions.

Latrobe graduates, men and women, are playing at the Division I, II and III levels. And many are making a significant impact, a few as starters in their early years at the next level.

Latrobe basketball is about family. Siblings pass the torch to one another as they try to establish their own legacies, while bringing more pride to their last names.

Butler, Fenton, Graytok, Mueseler, Sobota … the list goes on. And it carries on.

“Any player from any town who goes on to play basketball at the collegiate level, with very few exceptions, has some common traits,” Latrobe boys basketball coach Brad Wetzel said. “They worked when nobody was watching, and they appreciated — not necessarily liked — being pushed by their coaches and others around them.

“This, combined with a desire to be the absolute best they could be, would be a trait that is common with those who go on to play four more years of college basketball. … They had something inside that made them unique.”

Austin Butler is a third-year starting guard at Holy Cross. Latrobe’s all-time leading scorer in the boys program is averaging 8.4 points and 5.6 rebounds this season in five games for the Crusaders.

The 6-foot-5 junior started all 33 games last season and put up 12.6 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.5 steals.

He said basketball is ingrained in Latrobe players at a young age, that aspiring youth get a glimmer in their eyes when they attend Wildcats games.

“I think basketball around the area is getting more buzz and hype over the past couple of years, and younger kids come to the games and see these talents night-in and night-out,” Butler said. “Right away, they want be in our shoes one day.”

Shippensburg junior guard Jake Biss was one of the WPIAL’s top point guards when he played at Latrobe. These days, he is a 16.3 point-per-game scorer in the PSAC.

He also is averaging 4.4 rebounds and 2.7 assists for the Raiders (6-1), who are coached by Latrobe grad Chris Fite.

“We all have a love for the game,” the 6-2 Biss said. “We all knew we wanted to play after high school, and we knew the amount of work we had to put in to get to that level. Countless hours in the gym and weight room getting as many reps as possible.

“Sean and I would run countless hills, and we would go to the sand volleyball courts at Legion Keener (Park) to do agility workouts in the summer. We knew what it took, and we all had that dog mentality, simple as that.”

Freshman Reed Fenton worked his way into the starting five at Lehigh after a stellar career at Latrobe. Fenton, a 6-4 guard, recently had 14 points and four assists in a win for the Mountain Hawks (3-4) over Misericordia.

Fenton said he can only speak to his personal experiences coming out of Latrobe.

“I know for me, it was just being surrounded by my older brother and my dad who pushed me to get better,” he said. “Also, growing up with the Biss family and working out with Jake all the time definitely helped me a lot. Same thing with the Butlers. We all just have worked out together and helped each other reach our goals.”

Wetzel said the flare-up of college talent began a decade ago.

“I think something happened when we finally got over the hump in 2009,” Wetzel said. “Many of the youth clinics and programs we were running had players — as well as our middle school players — there to witness the nets come down (to celebrate a section title). This town has supported us, and many boys grew up and came of age thinking, ‘Why not me? Why can’t I, too, cut down the nets?’ ”

Other Wildcat alums playing collegiately include:

• Bryce Butler, a freshman at West Liberty, has played in all six games and averages 8.2 points and 3.3 rebounds in 19.0 minutes per game.

• Madison Kollar, a junior forward at Saint Vincent, is averaging 14.3 points and 4.0 rebounds in 25.3 minutes a game for the Bearcats (3-1). She scored 22 against Baldwin-Wallace. Kollar missed the 2017-18 season with a foot injury.

• Laura Graytok, a sophomore guard at American in Washington, D.C., is seeing increased minutes in the second year of her college career.

• Senior Sean Graytok is a reserve guard for the Coast Guard Academy. He has started 23 games in his career while providing 5.1 points and 1.2 assists.

• Freshman Mackenzie Markle is a starting forward at Westmoreland County Community College, which resumed its program after having to cancel last season. Markle has been an effective frontcourt presence for the Wolfpack (2-4) with 15.2 points and 11.8 rebounds.

“We have been blessed with some young athletes who, at a young age, fell in love with the game of basketball,” Latrobe girls coach Mark Burkhardt said. “All of these players were willing to work extremely hard to reach their academic and basketball goals. Something that I believe that they all learned at Latrobe was to give their maximum effort every time they step in a classroom and on a basketball court.”

Austin Butler said Wetzel and his assistants have created a true culture.

“Coach Wetzel and the staff deserve a lot of that credit because the success is behind the scenes with all the work they put in for us past players and the work they put in for the present players now,” Butler said. “And Coach Wetzel never loses connections, and that’s something very special.”

Ohio State and Michigan each wear home jerseys

As I sat in the press box at Ohio Stadium last Saturday following the Buckeyes’ 28-17 win against Penn State, I kept finding myself looking up to one of the television screens showing USC against UCLA. It wasn’t that this was a compelling rivalry game between two teams from Southern California — the Trojans were up 38-14 at that point — but the visual appeal of the contest kept catching my eye.

If you are unaware, USC and UCLA both wear their home jerseys when they meet in the final regular season game of the year no matter where the game is played. The two teams have done this all but one season since 2008 and prompted an NCAA rule change that permitted them to do so starting in 2009. This tradition goes back further to when both teams played in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum until the Bruins moved to the Rose Bowl in 1982.

While it’s becoming more normal to see teams move away from the tradition of home uniforms at home and away uniforms on the road in other sports, seeing USC in its Cardinal uniforms and UCLA in the true-blues on the field together is unique in college football and a beautiful sight.

What would be even more appealing to the eye is if Ohio State and Michigan adopted this same tradition. If on this Saturday, when the Buckeyes and the Wolverines meet for the 116th time, Ohio State wore its scarlet home jerseys and Michigan was in its famed blue kits, it would be a joy to behold. It wouldn’t matter that the game is in Ann Arbor because these two traditional college football powerhouses, each with their unique looks, would be on the field in their most recognizable uniforms.

These rivals used to do this. Although it’s hard to find evidence of this, due to black and white pictures from the time, the two teams wore their home jerseys until sometime in the 1950s.

What was the reason for the change? While there’s no official explanation, it is believed that television had to do with it. While scarlet vs. blue looks great in color in person, it’s hard to tell those two teams apart on black and white screens. By the late 1950s, TV had won out and the home team was wearing its color uniform and the road team wore white.

But it’s not as if this has become a set-in-stone tradition either. Nike has made sure of that. In 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017 the Buckeyes wore an alternate uniform in The Game, differing from their traditional home or away kits. This was done to advertise those uniforms in the biggest game of the year and make money. But money be damned when it comes to this rivalry game.

It seems Nike has figured this out. After wearing all white uniforms in Ann Arbor two years ago, the Buckeyes were in their traditional home attire last season. There is not expected to be any alternate wear for this season’s game either.

So what’s standing in the way of these two teams, who have met every year since 1918, from going the way of USC and UCLA or Florida and Georgia, as another example? There are some requirements that have to be met.

According to the altered NCAA rules, the home team must agree to both teams wearing their home uniforms in writing prior to the game and the home team’s conference must verify that the uniforms contrast. So if Ohio State and Michigan wanted to make this happen, given their differing colors, it would not be difficult.

While there will certainly be the traditionalists who say that they want to see the home team in its home jersey and the away team in its away jersey when these two meet, that argument went out the window when Nike started altering things. If this was agreed upon by Ohio State, Michigan, the Big Ten and Nike, it would add another unique tradition to the rivalry that already has so many.

Plus, it would just make The Game, which is already special, look even better.

Illinois scheduled an overseas football game 30 years ago — in Moscow. The story of the Glasnost Bowl and why it fell apart.

Mikhail Gorbachev’s blue Illinois football jersey is kept neatly folded in an old equipment room in Champaign.

The No. 1 jersey was never delivered 30 years ago as intended to the general secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Neither were the similar jerseys now stacked alongside Gorbachev’s: one each for former U.S. President Ronald Reagan and President George H.W. Bush, who had succeeded Reagan earlier that year.

The jerseys were designed to be gifts between the nations as Illinois prepared to play a historic game against USC in Moscow in the waning stages of the Cold War. The game was billed as the Glasnost Bowl.

Pulling off a college football game halfway around the world, in a nation with a poor economy and even worse understanding of the sport, proved too difficult, and the trip was scrapped about two months before the scheduled kickoff. The game was played instead at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, and the No. 22 Illini beat the fifth-ranked Trojans 14-13.

Illinois announced two weeks ago it will open the 2021 season in Dublin against Nebraska. It will be the program’s first overseas game and the eighth college football game in Ireland.

Even in 1989, international games weren’t unheard of. Tokyo hosted an annual American college football game from 1976 to 1993, including Notre Dame versus Miami in 1979.

But playing in the Soviet Union was “a fantasy,” said former Illinois coach John Mackovic (1988-91). U.S. football teams still haven’t played a game in Russia.

The Glasnost Bowl was marketed as a game of significant magnitude. For the football programs, it was not so much a political statement as an opportunity for global exposure.

The game was to air nationally on ABC on Labor Day, a week before the 1989 season kicked off for most programs.

“It was a nice opportunity to show that maybe Americans and Russians were getting along better,” Mackovic told the Tribune recently. “As we met with Russian reps, nobody said, ‘This would be good for the two countries.’

 

“What I was telling players was: ‘This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance. You may never get a chance to visit Russia again, for one thing.’ Just to open their eyes to the rest of the world. I always wanted them to explore and know more about our world.”

It was a novel idea but impossible to execute.

It is far easier for sports with smaller rosters such as basketball to play games overseas than football, with its large rosters, abundant coaching and support staffs and heavy equipment. Traveling overseas for exhibition games has become almost commonplace for college basketball teams; Illinois played in Italy this summer.

International football games take far more effort. The Glasnost Bowl was not the only overseas trip to fall through. In 1996, the Haka Bowl scheduled for New Zealand between teams from the Pac-10 and Western Athletic conferences was scrapped because the NCAA revoked the game’s certification over financial concerns. In 2013, bowl games proposed for Dublin and Dubai ran into similar NCAA certification impediments.

The obstacles were plentiful — almost laughable — as Illinois prepared for the Glasnost Bowl.

Raycom Sports and Entertainment, a sports broadcasting and event management company, negotiated with the local government in Moscow and would retain control of ticket sales. After a preliminary agreement, Raycom and the game’s promoter sued each other. In June 1989, the event was called off.

When Mackovic traveled to Moscow with USC representatives to survey the arrangements, he realized it might have been a bit of a pipe dream.

“I guess what went through our minds was, ‘How in the world are they going to make this work?’ ” he said. “But if they say it’ll work, well, OK.”

The Russians were so unknowledgeable about football, they asked Mackovic how many ambulances he would need for the game. He told them Illinois always had one on hand as a precaution.

“They said, ‘Well, you’ll need to take away the dead.’ I said, ‘Well, we’re not counting on anyone dying.’ They thought the game was vicious like that, that we killed off players. They assured us a hospital was close by.”

Logistically, the game was a nightmare. The teams were tasked with finding goal posts or locating a welder in Russia to assemble some. They were responsible for bringing every necessary item, from tape to ice machines.

To save money, the teams were scheduled to fly together with all of their equipment.

“All these little things starting adding up, and the list got gigantic,” former Illinois associate athletic director Dana Brenner said. “How are you going to get all that on a 747 with both teams? Everyone was in agreement that while the idea was terrific and it was a great life experience for everyone, just the enormous amount of logistical problems made us say, ‘Hey, we can’t pull this off.’ ”

Converting Dynamo Stadium, a soccer arena, into a football field meant the end zone would have butted against a wall — similar to the problem Illinois encountered when it played Northwestern at Wrigley Field in 2010.

The dressing rooms, Mackovic said, would not have fit the entire team even if they were standing shoulder to shoulder. The team hotel rooms were mostly bare besides two single beds.

“We started talking internally: ‘Boy, is this going to be really difficult to do,’ ” said Andy Dixon, Illinois’ former head equipment manager. “We went over all the things we’d have to take: our own food, our own chefs, our own toilet paper. Electrical converters. Our own sky lift for video. Even though it was exciting, we knew it would be difficult.”

School administrators acknowledged turmoil in the area, but there also were signs of the Soviet Union’s impending fall and improving relations with the U.S.

In 1987, the countries had agreed to scrap intermediate-range nuclear missiles. The Revolutions of 1989 saw the toppling of Soviet-imposed communist regimes in central and eastern Europe.

Two months after the scheduled date of the Glasnost Bowl, mass public rallies led to the fall of the Berlin Wall on Nov. 9, 1989. Gorbachev resigned as Soviet president on Dec. 25, 1991, and the U.S. recognized the independence of Soviet republics.

“There was a lot of unrest and change occurring in Eastern Europe,” Brenner said. “Everyone thought it could be a great experience for both countries if done in a positive manner. Everyone felt good about the decision (to play in Moscow).”

Any political ramifications of the game were largely lost on the players, some of them said. They had secured passports and been photographed for game promotions. They were hyped about playing in a high-profile game against a prestigious opponent and — for many — traveling overseas for the first time.

“I don’t think a lot of us thought about the political part,” said Mike Bellamy, the Illini’s current running backs coach, who played wide receiver for Illinois in 1988-89. “We were 20-year-old kids. We were excited about the big deal college football was making about it and playing USC.”

When players learned the trip was off, disappointment was temporary.

“We were looking forward to it, going out of the country,” said former Illini running back Howard Griffith (1987-90). “Telling us we were going out to California for a week, that was cool (too). The whole Ice Cube culture was happening. We had some teammates from out there. We stayed maybe in Santa Monica, stayed at some four- or five-star resort. It was fun.”

Mackovic was determined to make the best of it and took the players to California for the week, a lengthy trip that the NCAA would not approve today, he gleefully pointed out.

“We turned lemons into lemonade and booked the whole week,” he said. “We took the team to Disneyland. We treated it like a mini bowl trip. They loved it. The weather was nice.”

And the game was even nicer for the Illini.

Jeff George threw two touchdown passes in the final six minutes, including a 20-yarder to Los Angeles native Steve Williams with 2 minutes, 19 seconds left, to erase a 13-0 deficit and clinch the upset.

USC quarterback Todd Marinovich, a redshirt freshman starting in place of the injured Pat O’Hara, was picked off by Illinois’ Henry Jones with less than two minutes remaining.

Both teams went on to have impressive seasons. Led by linebacker Junior Seau, the Pac-10 defensive player of the year, the Trojans beat No. 3 Michigan in the Rose Bowl and wound up eighth in the final AP poll.

Illinois finished 10-2 and ranked No. 10 after a Citrus Bowl victory against No. 16 Virginia.

“It was quite a weekend,” Mackovic said of the game at USC.

And a much shorter plane ride home than they originally expected.

Will Marcus Williams change to his old college jersey number?

It’s been a good year for New Orleans Saints safety Marcus Williams. He’s accounted for two of the defense’s three interceptions through their first eight games, and his six pass breakups trail only cornerback Marshon Lattimore (who has nine). He’s tied for third-most on the team in defensive snaps played (497) and figures to continue holding up in coverage in the secondary. Oh, and his team has a 7-1 record at their bye week thanks in large part to impressive effort from his defense.

Now, Williams has the opportunity to switch to his old college jersey number. He wore No. 20 in three years at Utah, where he bagged 11 interceptions and 188 tackles after taking over as a freshman starter. The Saints picked him early in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft, ahead of teammates Alvin Kamara, Alex Anzalone, and Trey Hendrickson, and he’s featured in the starting lineup ever since.

But he couldn’t get No. 20 as a rookie. That number belonged to cornerback Ken Crawley, who had won his own starting job the year before, so Williams chose No. 43 instead. Flash-forward to Oct. 29, 2019, when the Saints waived Crawley and made No. 20 available again. Hypothetically, that uniform number is now Williams’ for the taking.

Unfortunately, it’s uncertain whether the league will allow it. Pro Football Talk reported in 2018 that in-season number changes are not allowed, quoting the NFL rule book as saying, “For competitive reasons, no player may change his uniform number once the regular season begins. . . . Special exceptions to this rule may be considered by the NFL Football Operations department depending on the circumstances (e.g., player traded to another team).”

However, none of the official NFL rule books released in 2017, 2018, or 2019 contain this passage. The only references to number changes are connected to position restrictions (in-game designations for eligible receivers versus ineligible receivers) so it’s unclear where this information is being cited from.

Players sometimes change their jerseys mid-season in response to a trade; wide receiver Amari Cooper switched to No. 19 after the Dallas Cowboys acquired him last year, having previously worn No. 89 for the Oakland Raiders. When the Jacksonville Jaguars traded cornerback Jalen Ramsey to the Los Angeles Rams just a few weeks ago, Rams cornerback Troy Hill gave him No. 20, choosing to change to No. 22.

So maybe the option is there for Williams to swap numbers midseason. He’d probably have to buy up any remaining stock of his No. 43 jerseys, and possibly request permission from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell (the NFL rule book stipulates that special permission may be granted) to do it. So we’re saying there’s a chance. Whether something like his jersey number is high on Williams’ list of priorities right now is impossible to say.

The best and worst CSU football uniforms as Rams ready to wear ‘state pride’ jerseys

Uniforms.

Such simple things that cause so much excitement and angst.

Some college football fans love their team sporting new looks, while some resent change.

Are there more important things to worry about? Yes! Are jersey combinations a fun thing to argue about? Also yes!

The Colorado State football team is wearing its Colorado flag-themed “state pride” jerseys on Saturday against UNLV, so for no reason other than a little fun I decided to look at the best and worst of CSU football’s current jersey combos.
Not so golden

The traditionalists love the idea of green and gold and I don’t mind it in principle, but the current gold is just … not great.

When CSU wears the gold pants, it looks like the Rams are playing in khakis. Not a good look. Until a better gold is available, shelve the gold pants for good. Please and thanks.
Not going to happen

Oh, the all gray. CSU busted these out as a surprise in 2016 against Wyoming and then got whipped by the Cowboys.

Players love them, but no chance of the all-grays returning anytime soon (if ever). The pants have been worn a couple times with non-gray tops.

The look is just meh. It’s OK, but doesn’t really jibe with anything else CSU wears. I’ll pass on the gray.
Oh, so special

I don’t want to hear any whining about the “state pride” jerseys not using the Ram horn, not being traditional school colors, blah blah blah. If you don’t think they’re a great look, you’re a curmudgeon. And that’s coming from me, who is frequently called a curmudgeon!

The Colorado flag-themed jerseys are absolutely brilliant. They’re gorgeous and it was a huge marketing win for CSU and Under Armour to think of before anyone else in the state (ahem, Buffaloes) did.

One of the best uniforms in college football. Can’t wait to see them again Saturday.

CSU’s other special, albeit annual, uniform is for Ag Day. The Ag Day tradition is a big hit and CSU’s ode to the Colorado A&M days is a beauty. The orange bone helmets stand out and the jerseys pop.
Traditional

Gold pants cast aside, sometimes the simple look is a great one. The classic green helmet with gold horns is a special look in college football.

My favorite of these? The traditional helmet, white jersey and green pants. Classic, classy and clean.

New twist on an old look

The Rams now have two bone-horn helmets with the Ag Day (green helmet with orange horns) and the white (with green horns).

The white helmet has become a favorite among players and many fans, along with this reporter.

It keeps the history and tradition of the Ram horns, but with a distinctive new twist. Also, white helmets aren’t very common in football.

The all-one-color (all white or all green) jersey combos are nice, but I like a little contrast with the unis. Give me white helmet, green jerseys and white pants all day long.

In my humble opinion, the white should be CSU’s standard helmet with the classic worn a couple times a season.

Gameday fashion brings college women closer together

On a typical Saturday at The University of Alabama, thousands of students flock to the Quad and Bryant-Denny Stadium dressed in their most fashionable outfits. At every turn, there seems to be a well-dressed student who is ready to show off her school spirit for the Crimson Tide.

Over time, the clothes worn to game days have gotten dressier and trendier, including fashionable skirts, dresses and rompers along with heels, boots and sandals. While this may seem like a far cry from the tennis shoes and jerseys of the past, college women have created their own culture through their gameday fashion.

On top of wearing unique pieces found everywhere from thrift stores to boutiques, women students also find different ways to add crimson or houndstooth to their gameday looks. Even if they aren’t wearing any crimson, they use red-and-white shakers tucked into their boots or red ribbons tied into their hair to show love for their team.

Bryleigh Tucker, a freshman majoring in biology, said that while she does dress up more for game day, she does so while still remaining comfortable.

“My favorite gameday look is probably just a cute skirt with a red sweater or a nice red shirt, and always a gameday button and some cute boots,” Tucker said. “I almost always want to be comfortable, but I still want to look cute, so I try to make them both work.”

Skyler Dunn, a freshman majoring in history, said that she never feels pressured to wear certain clothes or outfits to games.

“I’m a big proponent of keeping it comfortable on game days, whether that be a cute sweater or leggings,” Dunn said. “I’m always in leggings and honestly, probably a jersey. I think you can still dress up school spirit wear to make it cute. As long as you’re supporting the Tide, then you’re going to be just fine.”

With the change in women’s gameday outfits, some controversy has also quietly erupted onto the scene. Some people criticize the students for dressing too provocatively or even too dressy for a college football game.

Grace Brandon, a sophomore majoring in finance, said that some people are too quick to judge college women.

“I think we’re an easy target,” Brandon said. “There’s a lot of us, and we wear a lot of different, fun things. I mean, we hear enough of it that it just kind of goes over our heads at this point.”

Most women don’t let these critics stop them from enjoying football games and cheering on their favorite team.

“They shouldn’t even really be at a football game if their concern is what the girls are wearing,” Tucker said.

While it may seem like gameday fashion plays a divisive role in the lives of women, most would say otherwise. Tucker, Dunn and Brandon all agreed that gameday fashion brings women closer together.

“There is nothing like game day, calling my friend at 8:00 in the morning and saying that ‘I have nothing to wear so please bring over as many options as you can,’” Brandon said. “You all get to bond over what you wear to the game, and you get to take pictures and borrow each other’s clothes, so it’s a lot of fun.”

“Girls always want to help another girl get a cute outfit,” Tucker said. “Or if you’re out at a game and something messes up, they always help you fix it.”

College campuses have forever been changed by the emergence of the new gameday fashion. Instead of allowing their appearance to divide them, college women have created a culture and community based on their clothes that is carefree, fun and rarely judgemental.

“Some girls just like to dress up, whether it be for themselves or to have fun getting ready with their friends,” Dunn said. “I think it’s just a big part of the culture.”

Nike’s Tough Choice After Ionescu Jersey Sells Out in Hours

It began in April, when a University of Oregon senior started a petition to convince Nike to offer Oregon Women’s Basketball replica jerseys. After all, the Oregon Ducks finished in the Final Four for the first time, and fans wanted a way to demonstrate their appreciation. The petition generated a lot of press, but no jerseys.

In November, however, Oregon’s star point guard, Sabrina Ionescu took up the cause on Twitter.Within a week, Nike had an Oregon’s Women Basketball jersey featuring Ionescu’s No. 20. Within hours, they were sold out. If you go to Nike’s website, there is still a “Coming Soon” note under the picture of Oregon’s No. 20.
NCAA is Key to Untapped College Market

People were surprised that Nike misjudged the demand for Ionescu’s jersey. The situation might be more complicated than it first appears, however. Since Ionescu is still a student-athlete, NCAA rules forbid her from accepting money from Nike. Some states have taken steps to change that restriction. The NCCA has agreed in principle to eventually allow student-athletes to profit from their college sports notoriety, but so far, not much has changed.

Meanwhile, companies like Nike understand the market opportunity. They’re just hamstrung, and they don’t want to end up like Electronic Arts (EA). The gaming company paid $60 million to settle lawsuits that claimed it had violated the rights of student-athletes by unlawfully using their names, images, and likenesses in EA’s NCAA video games.

Companies want to support college sports, they just have to walk a fine line when doing so. For instance, how much money should Nike make off Ionescu’s jersey, without appearing to exploit her situation?
WNBA, Nike Can’t Wait for Ionescu to Turn Pro

Ionescu could have turned pro this year, but when the Ducks made it to the Final Four and lost, she believed she had unfinished business to settle. Her letter, explaining why she decided to finish what she and the Ducks started four years ago, is a testament to college sports. The fact that this year, the Oregon Ducks became only the second college team in history to beat the USA Women’s National team, is a testament to their journey.

With more than 2,000 points already in her college career, Ionescu is likely to be the No. 1 WNBA draft pick in 2020. As a result, she will probably play for New York Liberty, which should make the Liberty’s new owner, Joseph Tsia, very happy. Tsia, co-founder of the Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba, also owns the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets.

Nike, who has been the WNBA’s marketing partner since its 1997 inception, should also be happy. They’ll finally be able to sell as many Ionescu jerseys as the market demands, without guilt or fear.

Cowboy Football announces special uniforms for Kansas game

(This story originated with Oklahoma State University Athletic Media Relations and was written by Sean Maguire.)

STILLWATER – The Oklahoma State football program will commemorate Veterans Day by wearing special uniforms as part of the Cowboys’ Nov. 16 game against Kansas. OSU partnered with Nike on developing a custom design that includes the following:

 

The official military base crest of the Cowboy Battalion appears on the right sleeve. The use of the crest represents the historical roots of service fostered by the university. Oklahoma State’s ROTC program originated with the establishment of the school itself. Founded in 1890, military instruction was part of the curriculum.
The American flag appears on the left sleeve.

 

Cowboy Battalion

Player last names do not appear on the back of the jersey. They are replaced by “Cowboy Battalion”. Player names take a secondary role to the base call-outs on the nameplate.

 

Symbolic Color and Graphics

While developing the F-117 Nighthawk, Lockheed’s legendary top secret Skunk Works Division found that the best way to evade visual detection in daylight was a paint scheme utilizing different shades of gray. The use of gray on the jersey and pant represents the evasive aesthetics used on military aircraft. The pant stripe mimics the graphic language of the KC 135, whose flight training and maintenance is provided at Altus AFB.

 

Folds of Honor

The Folds of Honor logo appears on each helmet and jersey. Folds of Honor provides educational scholarships to spouses and children of America’s fallen and disabled service members.
Game-worn uniforms will be auctioned off following the game, with proceeds going to Folds of Honor.

“I have great respect for the people in our armed forces and am excited to honor them for what they do for our country,” Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy said. “These uniforms are a good reminder to our players – and to all of us – the price these people pay every day to protect our freedom.”

Gundy has made it a tradition, no matter what is going on in the game or what the situation is, of going out on the field in the second half when they honor the MIlitary Family of the Game and pay honor to all members of that family. Oklahoma State as a school and as an athletic department has always shown appreciation and support of the military.

Fans can purchase jerseys, hats, shirts and sweatshirts by visiting Oklahoma State Nike retailers at the University Store in the student union on campus, the West End Zone store in Boone Pickens Stadium, Academy Sports + Outdoors, The End Zone and online at shop.okstate.com.