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Wednesday, Mar. 5, 2003
Should college football players receive a stipend?
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RED PANTS ARE BACK: After sporting an all-white look on the road in 2002, the Nebraska Cornhuskers will return to the white-jersey, red-pants look they wore in 2001. Athletic Director Steve Pederson mentioned the change during a Tuesday press conference.
Huskers switch back to traditional uniform

After one disappointing season in new duds, the Nebraska football team has opted to return to a more traditional look.

New Husker athletic director Steve Pederson announced Tuesday that NU will wear the uniforms in which it ended the 2001 season.

In other words, say goodbye to the 21st-century Adidas uniforms unveiled in August, the ones with the 4-inch stripe running down the sides of the pants and the red spandex gussets on the sides of the jerseys. Nebraska finished 7-7 in the new uniforms.

No longer will Nebraska play road games wearing white pants and white jerseys. The Huskers will return to their conventional look -- white jerseys with solid red pants on the road and red jerseys with solid white pants at home.

Pederson said he and Nebraska Coach Frank Solich discussed the issue weeks ago.

"Both of us decided this is what we needed to do,"Pederson said. "We really don't need distraction, and the uniform issue became somewhat of a distraction."

Solich said the switch back to the 2001 style "makes sense."

"We gave the other uniforms a try,"Solich said. "The players wanted to do something different (for the 2002 season). That's come and gone. Steve and I have visited about it, and he's in favor of the change, and I'm sure many fans are, too."

Indeed, many fans voiced displeasure about Nebraska's 2002 uniforms, and Pederson looked into the issue not long after being hired here Dec. 20.

"When the change was made before last season, the majority of our players wanted a new look,"Solich said. "That was fine by me. Once the season started, Iheard little talk about it. But I heard a lot of talk about it prior to last season.

"There was a group of people who didn't want the change. But I've found that to be true with about any change that comes along in this program."

Nebraska offensive guard Jake Andersen, a junior-to-be from Littleton, Colo., said the uniform issue matters little to him.

"It's just something you wear when you go out to play the game," Andersen said. "It's just a uniform to me. You're out there playing football. I don't really care what I look like."

By the way, Adidas -- Nebraska's apparel supplier since the mid-1990s -- was fine with the decision to go back to the traditional duds, Pederson said.

However, there's at least one drawback.

"Now, nobody will have anything to call my radio show about at night," Pederson said with a smile.

Reach Steven M. Sipple at 473-7440 or ssipple@journalstar.com.


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Press Box Perspective
Enough already.

While I admire Sen. Ernie Chambers and Gov. Mike Johanns for trying to provide a little extra spending money to student-athletes, this idea to only pay a stipend to football players is a joke.

It's a slap at gender equity, and it's a knock on the value of getting a college education from a major institution.

The Husker volleyball team fills the Coliseum for every match. Why shouldn't those athletes get something extra?

So what if they don't turn a profit for the athletic department. They sure make the deficit a little easier to stomach.

But at least those volleyball players get full scholarships. If any NU team should get extra financial support it's the Husker baseball team.

Those guys split 11.7 scholarships 30 ways. They fill the ballpark most of the season. They don't turn a net profit for the university, but they sure make a bigger dent than most of the programs at NU.

When they find a way to pay pizza money to all the student-athletes, then I'll join Ernie in this fight.

-- JohnMabry