UA: Alternate uniforms, straying from tradition not in plans

By: Brandon Marcello
Published: Thursday, July 1, 2010

— Several months ago fans began to wonder if change was coming to Arkansas’ uniforms when the Razorbacks’ all-sports deal with Nike was announced in November.

After all, Nike was known for some extreme designs and working with schools one-on-one to create unique looks.

One Arkansas fan went as far to render an alternate football uniform in Photoshop based loosely on Nike’s Pro Combat line, which several teams affiliated with Nike wore in games last season. But don’t expect Pro Combat uniforms or alternate uniforms predominantly using the color black this football season, said Matt Trantham, Arkansas’ senior associate athletic director for internal operations.

“There are no plans to do black uniforms or to do this combat style,” Trantham said. “... I don’t anticipate that happening this year.”

Get the latest Razorback news and views from Brandon Marcello on The Slophouse blog.

A unique design for football uniforms wasn’t pursued either due to a short turnaround between November and a deadline to place equipment orders. Trantham, who oversees equipment operations at Arkansas, said the hope was for the Razorbacks’ uniform styling to remain close to its recent designs under the umbrella of Adidas, which provided apparel to the school since 2004.

While Arkansas’ football program hasn’t worn flashy uniforms or a wide variety of looks over the course of one season, it turned away from a traditional look with the arrival of Bobby Petrino in 2008.

“We don’t want to be Oregon and we don’t want to be Penn State,” Trantham explained, using the schools’ uniforms on opposite ends of the fashion spectrums as examples.

The Razorbacks debuted their Nike home football uniforms in May. The most noticeable change from previous years were the pants, which were white with the “Razorbacks” lettering down the leg. Arkansas is expected to have two white pants — one with an accent strip down the leg — and one style of cardinal pants. There will be two jersey styles — the typical home cardinal look and a white away jersey.

“We don't have time to bring a full design team down here and create things that might be unique to Arkansas,” Trantham said. “We will go through that process with Nike, but we really didn't have the timeframe to do it this time.”

Arkansas will also stick to traditional looks and colors, even though a recent photo featuring a Razorback helmet with a black facemask from a photo shoot with Mallett prompted questions from fans recently. Arkansas, Trantham insists, will wear a red Razorback helmet with a white Hog logo and white facemask.

A drastic change in the uniforms, even for a throwback game or one-time alternate jersey, would take some persuasion from Nike.

“Unless they're going to come to us and want to do it, show us what it would look like and pay for it, there's no interest on our end in doing that,” Trantham said. “... Someone is paying for it and we're not interested in doing it. We’re interested in doing the traditional colors here, and while the uniforms may have a design that’s a little bit different, we’re not interested in changing the colors.”

Arkansas is still awaiting the delivery of a complete inventory for next season’s football uniforms. The home uniform fashioned by Mallett in May is the only uniform on campus as of July 1.

Arkansas’ basketball uniforms are also not expected to change drastically next fall, Trantham said.


Have a comment on this story? Join the discussion or start a new one on the Forums.