Penn State officials are doing everything they can to change the image of the school, which was damaged by Jerry Sandusky and the sex abuse scandal. Some of those changes include new football uniforms, which will feature blue ribbons to show support for victims of child abuse and adding players’ names to the back of the jersey.
The team’s generic look — blue-and-white, no names on jerseys — has long been a trademark and was associated with the buttoned-down style of former coach Joe Paterno, who was fired last year after his former assistant Jerry Sandusky was arrested on child molestation charges.
School officials said adding the names was a way to recognize the “resolve and dedication” of the players, as the team faces a four-year bowl ban and loss of scholarships under the severe penalties handed down by the NCAA last month over the school’s handling of the Sandusky scandal.
The changes will take effect with the Sept. 1 season opener at home against Ohio University.
“We want our fans to know and recognize these young men,” said coach Bill O’Brien, who was hired after last season. “They have stuck together during tough times, and I commend them for the leadership they have shown.”