New uniforms for Pac-12 tourney, not NCAAs

March, 1, 2013
3/01/13
7:00
PM PT
LOS ANGELES -- UCLA will wear polarizing alternate uniforms for at least one game in the Pac-12 tournament, but will not wear them in the NCAA tournament should the Bruins qualify, coach Ben Howland said Friday.

"Not long term," Howland said. "We won't be wearing those all the time."

The new uniforms unveiled by adidas on Thursday for use by six schools during the college basketball postseason, drew some raised eyebrows and angry reaction from fans of the schools slated to wear them.

UCLA's, Louisville's and Baylor's feature short-sleeved jerseys while Kansas, Notre Dame and Cincinnati will wear regular tank top jerseys. It's the shorts, however, drawing most of the ire. The camouflaged patterns have been likened to Zubaz pants that became a fad in the early 1990s.

Almost immediately after adidas released the photos, fans of the schools took to Twitter to express disapproval. Kansas fans started a petition to keep the JayHawks from wearing them, but Howland said the UCLA players can't wait to put them in play.

"Our players love them," Howland said. "They're so excited to wear those. They can't wait."

The visceral reaction, Howland said, comes from traditionalists who are resistant to change, especially at blue-blood basketball programs such as Kansas and UCLA. He said the anger was a bit of an overreaction and didn't take into account the feeling of the players who will be wearing the uniforms.

"A lot of fans are people my age -- 55 years old -- and we all grew up with a certain tradition and history and I get that," Howland said. "But, hey, you've got to be able to step out of the box once in a while. That will be a fun thing for our players and it's about kids. Ultimately this is about kids."

The Bruins players, Howland said, wanted to use the uniforms almost immediately after trying them on.

"Our players want to use them right now, trust me," Howland said. "Our fans should be able to tolerate that for a game or two."

Peter Yoon

ESPNLosAngeles.com

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B. Hundley369248307124
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