- Adam Rittenberg, ESPN Staff Writer
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Penn State's football makeover under coach Bill O'Brien will include changes to the team uniforms.
The school on Tuesday announced two changes to the Nittany Lions' unis for the 2012 season.
1. A blue ribbon will be worn to honor victims of child abuse.
2. Players' last names will be displayed for the first time "in recognition of their resolve and dedication to the team and the university," a news release reads.
Penn State has sported an unmistakably simple look for decades: white helmets, black shoes, blue or white uniforms, no decals or names. Any talk of changes under former coach Joe Paterno were typically shot down immediately.
But it's a new era in State College, and O'Brien and players had hinted at the changes in recent months. After all that has happened, it's not surprising to see them come to fruition. O'Brien met with several players and they decided to add the names.
"We want our fans to know and recognize these young men," O'Brien said in a statement. "They have stuck together during tough times, and I commend them for the leadership they have shown. Moving forward, I'm deeply committed to honoring Penn State's traditions, while building a bright future for our football program."
Acting athletic director Dave Joyner added of the ribbons, "Coach Bill O'Brien and his football team made it clear they want to support victims and bring more awareness to this issue, which affects so many."
The ribbon addition was a must after the child sex abuse scandal involving former Penn State assistant Jerry Sandusky. But the addition of the names surely will attract more attention.
We'll likely get a closer look at the uniform changes Thursday as Penn State holds its preseason media day. According to a team spokesman, there have been no discussions about the uniform changes beyond the 2012 season.
What's your opinion on the changes?
4dDan Murphy and Austin Ward