After a swift outcry from students and fans, the N.C. State Athletics Department has opted to scrap its new white jerseys for the men’s basketball team and return to a design similar to the one it used last year.
The jerseys, provided free of cost due to endorsement deals with Adidas sporting goods company, will have "N.C. State" printed across the chest.
"We were looking for a positive outcome, but since this didn’t turn out that way, we’re more than willing to go back to the old way and move forward," Athletic Director Lee Fowler said.
The Athletic Department posted pictures of the new jerseys on Twitter Wednesday afternoon and angry comments immediately flooded Internet chat rooms and message boards.
"It seems to have created some controversy, and there’s nothing [Lowe], I, or the department would rather avoid than making the students upset," Fowler said.
The jerseys featured the word "State" above the player’s number, with the letters "NC" clustered above them. Fowler and coach Sidney Lowe said they were discouraged from only including the word "State," as schools such as Michigan State University have on their jerseys.
The athletics department deserves a lot of credit for its quick response to the overwhelmingly negative but less-than-constructive reaction (not that I would know anything about that) to the uniforms. I think they'd be well served to be more interactive on Twitter than they have been, but this is an indication that they understand the two-way nature of the service, and I appreciate their receptiveness to the opinions offered there and elsewhere on the internet. It would've been easy enough to dismiss the online feedback as a typically negative reaction to anything they do.
The article also sheds some light on the thought process behind the jersey: they wanted to hearken back to days of yore by emphasizing "STATE" but they had to balance that with the request/demand that they include "NC" so as not to confuse the school with Michigan State or some other johnny-come-lately already using jerseys that only include the word "STATE."
Do we not have precedent over Sparty here?