UNIVERSITY PARK — Find an embroiderer. Check spellings. Penn States football uniforms are changing.
The athletic department announced Tuesday that names will be added the back of players jerseys this fall. On a video posted on Penn States athletics website, gopsusports.com, coach Bill OBrien said he consulted with players about adding names to jerseys, and the team endorsed the move.
These guys were enthused that their names would be on the back of jerseys, OBrien said. They understood the reason why and we had a lot of communication on it, and at the end of the day, we felt good about the decision.
OBrien, who replaced Paterno in January, said theres a poignant reason for the addition of the names: recognizing the players who remain committed to the program. The Nittany Lions lost nine players last week in the aftermath of the NCAA sanctions levied against the school because of the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal.
The names arent the only apparel change. Penn State is adding blue ribbons to uniforms, a move designed to support child abuse victims. OBrien said after Monday mornings practice that members of the program will be active in causes involving child abuse prevention. OBrien has started working with the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape.
We have to understand our responsibility to the community, children and child abuse organizations, he said. These kids understand that and we are going to talk about that quite a bit and show what we mean by that.
Penn State begins the season Sept. 1 against Ohio University at Beaver Stadium. Its possible more uniform changes will be revealed at the opener, although OBrien and players are keeping images of potential gameday apparel changes hidden.
Penn States gameday look experienced few changes during Joe Paternos 46 years as head coach.
Guy Cipriano can be reached at 231-4643. Follow him on Twitter @cdtguy