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Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Teams' uniforms to honor veterans

Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Maryland and South Carolina will wear uniforms with camouflage designs during their games Nov. 14 to honor military veterans and promote the Wounded Warrior Project.

The black with tan camouflage uniforms, designed by Under Armour, will have a Wounded Warrior logo on them. Instead of players' names, the backs of the jerseys will have words such as courage, loyalty, integrity and service.

"Ooooh," defensive tackle Ladi Ajiboye said Tuesday after seeing the camouflage cleats the Gamecocks will wear. "I could wear these the whole season."

The Wounded Warrior Project acts as an advocate for injured service men and women in Washington and provides services and programs for them.

The Gamecocks (No. 24 BCS, No. 23 AP) play Florida (No. 1 BCS, No. 2 AP) that day, and Maryland faces Virginia Tech (No. 14 BCS, No. 15 AP). Veterans Days is Nov. 11.

South Carolina's campus is 15 miles from Fort Jackson, the Army's largest training base.

Gamecocks coach Steve Spurrier wanted to wear the special uniforms as soon as he heard about the idea and encouraged fans to support the program.

Warriors charity can help even more veterans.

"We're honored to be associated with these brave men. I like that word courage. We're trying to encourage our football players to play with a little more courage like the way these guys do for our country," Spurrier said.

Maryland also held a news conference to announce the promotion on its campus in College Park.

"It's certainly an honor for us to be involved in this project. I think our kids are very excited about it," coach Ralph Friedgen said.

Some jerseys will be auctioned off after the games on the university Web sites, with all of the money being donated to the Wounded Warrior Project.

"This is an amazing platform that will help us let others know about what we do and why honoring and empowering wounded warriors is so important," Steven Nardizzi, executive director of the Wounded Warrior Project, said in a release.

Under Armour apparel and team gear with the Wounded Warrior logo, such as hooded sweat shirts and polo shirts, will be sold in college bookstores, and a portion of the proceeds will go to WWP.

"Partnering with an organization such as the Wounded Warrior Project allows Under Armour a unique opportunity to connect with college football fans and our athletes on a whole new level, while also supporting the overall mission of the Wounded Warrior Project," Kevin Plank, CEO of Under Armour, said in a statement.