Tahlequah Daily Press

January 15, 2014

NSU forced to ditch dark road uniforms

By BEN JOHNSON
Sports Editor

— Uniforms are all the rage in college athletics these days. But Northeastern State's road uniforms have some people enraged.

The NSU men's basketball team unveiled a new look while playing away from home this season. In five games this year, the RiverHawks have worn black jerseys that also include black numbers. The only non-black stitch on the jersey are the dark green outlines around the numbers.

But those jerseys are being retired — for the time being. The Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association is seeing to it.

The league office informed the RiverHawks that they weren't in NCAA compliance with jersey regulations.

According to NCAA Rule 1.7.b.6, "the number shall be one single solid color that contrasts the neutral zone and may be bordered by no more than a 1/2-inch border of any color."

By putting black numbers on black jerseys, NSU violates the rule. Only the outlining is in compliance.

The dark-on-dark combination has made the uniforms a challenge to read while the RiverHawks have played away from home.

"...Are the NSU road jerseys as bad in person as I've heard? #HardToRead," said Gene Cassell, Washburn's sports information director tweeted out on Monday.

NWMissourian Sports tweeted out during NSU's game on Monday night at Northwest Missouri State: "For some reason, the RiverHawks brought their all-black jerseys to Maryville, making player numbers impossible to see."

NSU will now return to its road uniforms from last season — unless NSU can alter its current uniforms to comply with NCAA regulations. Those feature white lettering and numbers on forest green jerseys.

NSU will not face any sort of penalty for the all-black uniforms that were worn early on this season.

The decision to eliminate NSU's all-black uniforms comes a day before NSU's Activities Board planned a crowd blacout, where fans are encouraged to buy black T-shirts while the NSU teams were dark uniforms.

NSU's next road game will be Jan. 25 at Washburn.