Ohio State football

Penn State reportedly didn’t want Ohio State to wear these new alternate jerseys

Take a moment to drink Ohio State’s uniforms in that the Buckeyes will sport against Penn State, complete with LeBron James cleats. Really absorb them, because my goodness they are gorgeous.


But per one report, Penn State isn’t a big fan.

The NCAA does have a rule that jersey numbers must be distinct from jerseys.

The rule was initially put in to curb gradient numbers on jerseys. The numbers are supposed to be different than the base jersey color, in order to make it easy for opponents to identify personnel. Florida A&M was penalized for these:

NCAA Football: Florida A&M at ArkansasNelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

From the rulebook:

Teams that wear a jersey during the game that does not conform to the contrasting-number rule will be given the opportunity to change into a legal jersey at the start of the game and before the start of each subsequent quarter, until the jerseys are changed. Officials shall charge the team with one of its allowed timeouts at the start of each quarter that the illegal jersey is worn

There’s probably enough contrast between the grey jersey and the black numbers to cover the Buckeyes on that front, so Ohio State should be fine.

There also should be enough contrast between Penn State’s jerseys and Ohio State’s.

Unless they announce differently, Penn State will look like this, in the white on white on white classic look they’ve sported for decades.

NCAA Football: Penn State at NorthwesternKamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Sometimes, road teams do get flagged for wearing jerseys that are too similar to the home team’s.

Arkansas State was flagged at the beginning of each half of their 2013 game at Auburn for lack of contrast with the Tigers. Their grey set did not contrast enough with the Tigers’ navy blue, referees surmised. Al.com reported that it was the first time the penalty had been assessed.

Arkansas State v AuburnPhoto by Michael Chang/Getty Images

The NCAA rulebook only requires that the road team wear sufficiently contrasting jerseys, after 25 years of requiring the road team to wear white.

This change allowed for Florida and Georgia to wear their primary colored jerseys in the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party. Before that, USC and UCLA famously sacrificed timeouts in a game before the rule was relaxed in order to wear color on color.

Whatever happens, the Buckeyes are gonna look sweet on Saturday, and the Nittany Lions will look classic.

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