Penn State announces uniform changes


I recently examined the question of whether Penn State should change its football uniforms in the wake of its sex abuse scandal. It was a complicated issue with good arguments to be made from both sides.

We now have Penn State's answer to that question: Yes, the Nittany Lions will have some uniform adjustments for 2012.

But the changes will be small. According to an announcement from the university, the team will wear a blue ribbon to support victims of child abuse, and it will also add players' names to the jerseys as a symbol of personal accountability. It's not yet clear if either of these changes will be permanent or if they'll be used only for 2012.

The moves are sensible enough. But while I'm glad they've made a gesture toward the victims, I wish they hadn't chosen a ribbon. Uniform ribbons have become so ubiquitous that they've essentially become meaningless, and by this point I've developed a blind spot for them. Many fans apparently agree: A recent ESPN SportsNation poll found that adding a ribbon to the Penn State uniform was the least popular option among four choices that were presented to readers.