photo via Chris Littmann [@chrislittmann]
Dan Guerrero's UCLA Athletic department is about to allow Adidas destroy the legacy of iconic UCLA basketball jerseys.
There are already number of fanshots and fanposts that have popped up on this (here, here, here, and here). Those posts link to number of posts on other blogs with mockups of the "alternate" unis. This is getting play in traditional media outlets such as the Bloomberg.
Really not sure what else to say at this point than what folks have expressed through their initial reactions in our community. UCLA basketball uniform is supposed to be something sacred. I am personally ok with making subtle tweaks here and there or tasteful ones like we have done in the past by going to a retro look (against Arizona couple of years ago at home). I was also okay with the alternate unis we rolled out against Southern Cal even though timing (a game against an irrelevant program playing with an interim coach) was pretty silly.
But this is pretty surreal. I don't even know how to react to this. Here is how Bruin alum Jeff Eisenberg reacted on Yahoo!'s Dagger (emphasis mine):
If the purpose of the new jerseys is simply to draw attention, then this is the second year in a row Adidas has succeeded. Last year, Adidas also borrowed from the 1980s, putting Louisville, Baylor and Cincinnati in neon jerseys during the college basketball postseason.
Baylor's neon green look and Louisville's infrared gear were polarizing as well, but they were not immediately panned the way this year's jerseys have been. This year's looks range from not terrible (Louisville), to pretty awful (Notre Dame), to an abomination (UCLA).
For schools, the purpose of adopting alternate jerseys like these is usually twofold.
First, it's a money-making opportunity since it introduces a new product to sell. Secondly, it typically aids recruiting by letting prospects know that they'll always be outfitted in the freshest, most up-to-date gear if they choose your school.
The question with these Adidas jerseys is whether they fulfill either purpose. Maybe the initial uproar will fade, but it's hard to imagine recruits will be wowed by the new gear or fans will be lining up at campus stores and sporting goods shops to purchase it.
I never imagined the brand of UCLA basketball would be so devalued that we would be reduced to speaking out camouflaged shorts. Yes, this is an Adidas deal, but that doesn't mean UCLA has to go alone with this nonsense. The way this has been rolled out it's as if we have a rival Arizona fan telling Dan Guerrero what to do in terms of how to run this department. Oh wait, that is exactly what is going on with Mark Harlan (Arizona alum) functioning as Guerrero's right hand man.
As noted by GoBruins88 Michigan and N.C. State had good enough sense to say no to Adidas but we have heard nothing from Dan Guerrero's clueless Morgan Center. If you want to let them know something about - this Saturday when a hapless Arizona squad shows up at Pauley - that could be a good moment.
You can also call the Chancellor of course. If you are looking to contact the UCLA Chancellor's office to speak up against this joke uniform go here.There is also Dan Guerrero's office. The phone number for Guerrero's office is 310-206-6382.
Please be polite while making calls or in your emails.