The numbers on the jerseys have a faint houndstooth print, while the pants feature two crimson stripes and a script A, and the helmet has a stripe with a faint houndstooth print that matches the number. The new gloves feature both the houndstooth print and the script A with the words “pride,” “effort,” “toughness,” “commitment” and “discipline” on the left glove fingers.
“The Pro Combat uniforms are not just for better performance for the team,” Nike representatives said, “but they are also a combination of tradition of the university and something designed specifically for the fans enjoyment.”
The reaction to the new uniforms around campus was not what Nike executives expected. Fans in Tuscaloosa did not enjoy the new design, which the team will wear against Mississippi State Nov. 13 in Bryant-Denny Stadium.
“Alabama is a tradition school,” Stewart Holder, a sophomore majoring in finance, said. “The uniforms have not changed since Wallace Wade. Why do they need to change now?”
While some students enjoy aspects of the uniforms, they still prefer the regular ones.
“I like how the tradition of Coach Bryant was put into the uniforms,” junior Kelsey King said. “But I would rather them stay with the tradition that Alabama is built upon.”
Alabama and Penn State are the only two teams who have not changed their uniforms for over 65 years. In a poll conducted by ESPN in 2008, Alabama was voted least likely to change its uniforms. In the poll, the team tied with Penn State. The poll was conducted when the University of Oregon debuted its 204 uniform combinations.
Not all student reaction to the uniforms has been negative. Graduate student Drew Gunn said he thought the new look may help the players’ movements.
“The uniforms can enhance cuts for the players,” he said. “They are also cool looking with the houndstooth. Houndstooth is directly linked to Alabama, so why not show it off with our football team?”
The uniforms consist of the lightest uniforms ever made. They have padding on the inside and feature flexible dry fit material on the outside. The uniforms are 37 percent lighter than the current uniforms.
Tide fans may have familiarity with this line of uniforms. In the 2009 SEC Championship game, Florida wore the 2009 Pro Combat uniforms, which Alabama declined to take part in.