Mt. Vernon Register-News

Sports

March 21, 2013

Neon jerseys aren't college fan favorites

NEW YORK (AP) — It seems an unpopular position in college basketball is fashion forward.

The neon-colored jerseys and camouflage-covered shorts debuted by six teams in their postseason conference championships ahead of the NCAA men’s basketball tournaments weren’t well received in the press or social media, with critics particularly targeting UCLA, Kansas and Notre Dame because of the schools’ tradition-rich athletic histories. Louisville, Cincinnati and Baylor also got uniform makeovers from Adidas, and they didn’t go over so well, either.

They were called Underoos, Fruit Stripes and LMFAO costumes. Some people just called them ugly — and you can search for them online that way.

The changes happened to be in line with fashion runways and recreational athleticwear, where highlighter brights and creative camo have been bona fide trends. And alternate uniforms have become part of the college football and basketball landscape — but these uniforms still made some fans cringe.

“What is distracting is all the patterns,” said Sam Gordon, a Johns Hopkins student and big NCAA basketball fan. “It could take the crowd’s focus away from a player’s jump shot to what they are wearing.”

Jeff Halmos, half of the menswear designer duo Shipley & Halmos, called the uniforms “ultra-forward” — but that may not be a compliment.

“I was so shocked at UCLA. If I was part of a storied franchise like that, I’d say, ‘Absolutely not.’ I would tell my team that it’s an honor to wear this traditional jersey, and I wouldn’t cheapen it,” he said. “There’s a threshold to which innovation crosses a boundary. The ‘throwback era’ — when classic uniforms had a mainstream moment a few years ago — that was so much better. To me, there’s so much in menswear that’s about heritage.”

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