One highly confidential (and highly defensive) issue within the Pitt athletic department is the ever-evolving state of the football uniforms, their color schemes and designs.
The subject arose again during an interview session with Pitt football coach Dave Wannstedt Friday, when it was revealed that “subtle” changes will be made to the uniforms: The “PANTHERS” across the chest will be replaced with “PITT” and blue pants will return for the first time since 2003, when they were worn against Virginia Tech.
Wannstedt dismissed the uniform changes as “non-substantial,” which might have been his way of saying he doesn’t care what happens to the uniforms until the university returns to the old-school colors and script Pitt that were worn in the Panthers’ heyday.
For now, Pitt looks like a cheap Notre Dame/Navy knock-off, which should make it interesting viewing for ESPN’s national audience when the Panthers play the Midshipmen on a Wednesday night game on Oct. 10.
Wannstedt made it abundantly clear in his first season that he prefers the Panthers’ uniforms of the 1970s, throwbacks of which were worn against Youngstown State.
Which, by the way, was a poor substitute for my idea – shared with a member of the athletic department long before that season – that the Panthers should have unveiled the throwbacks in special fashion for the opener against Notre Dame, the way the Irish did by switching to green jerseys at halftime against Southern Cal in 1985.
Apparently, I wasn’t alone in that thought.
Pitt’s unveiling of a solid-gold look against Louisville was fitting, as it capped a disastrous finale to a 6-6 season that ended with five consecutive losses.
Tyler Palko and H.B. Blades revealed their preferences in an act of defiance at the Senior Bowl, where they replaced the block PITT logo on the helmets with a script Pitt and blue-and-white stripes.
If Pitt’s uniform designs were up to me – which, regrettably, they are not – the Panthers would be sporting a classic college football look. My favorite is UCLA’s style, with script on all-gold helmets, stripes on the shoulders and full-block numbers.
Just for kicks, I’ve linked a website where you can design your own jerseys.
Whether you prefer royal or navy, script or block, it’s as close as you’ll get to seeing Pitt look the way you want.