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July 7, 2014

Sooners' new threads a blast from past

Norman —    Oklahoma is joining the alternate uniform craze. Tuesday afternoon, the school announced two alternative uniforms and helmets for the upcoming season.

   “The players are excited about them,” OU coach Bob Stoops said in a statement. “It’s always positive to relate back to Bud Wilkinson’s era with the longest winning streak in college football history and three national championships. These uniforms give us a chance to do that.”

   Nike, OU’s official apparel provider, designed the two alternative uniforms. The crimson version switches out the “Sooners” with an “Oklahoma” and was designed to be worn with the cream helmet.

   The ensemble was designed as an homage to Bud Wilkinson’s powerhouse teams of the 1940s and 1950s.

   Those teams wore white headgear with a signature crimson stripe. The latest version includes a similar stripe, as well as the addition of “OU” on each side.

   “I think recruits are always excited about uniforms, helmets and any of the looks that you might put on the field,” Stoops said “(The additional uniforms) won’t be something we do constantly, but it will be a nice changeup and will be positive in recruiting, with our players and with our fans.”

   OU also unvieled an alternative road uniform that includes a helmet and white stripe running down the middle of the traditional helmet and a black facemask. It was designed to be worn with a white jersey that includes crimson sleeves and crimson pants with a white stripe down the side.

   “We are also excited to add an additional member to our uniform family, a concept that pays homage to the proud history of the state of Oklahoma, as well as several great eras of Sooner football,” OU athletic director Joe Castiglione said. “Oklahoma was Nike’s first partner school to unveil a true throwback uniform more than a decade ago. Today, we add a uniform design that combines state-of-the-art Nike technology and stylistic flair while staying true to our historic OU roots.”

   The Sooners have worn throw-back uniforms in the past. The last time was a 2009 road game at Texas Tech that was a tribute to the uniforms of the 1950s.

   OU’s traditional uniform has gone virtually unchanged for the last 40 years. Outside of the paint on the helmet becoming shinier and “Sooners” being added to the jersey in the early 1980s, there has been no change.

   According to the announcement made by OU Tuesday, the work on alternate uniforms has been in the works for two years.

   When and where OU will debut its new outfits has not been announced. It is already committed to wearing uniforms with gold trim when it faces Texas in the Red River Rivalry. That was part of a two-year agreement between OU, Texas and Nike.

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