On Wednesday, Syracuse Orange football coach Dino Babers dropped a small hint that the program could see some new uniforms soon. Typically pretty reserved, Babers’s short statement immediately gained some legs -- especially around here.
Ends up, all the excitement was for naught (for now).
Syracuse athletics says no new uniforms are coming in 2017.— Nate Mink (@MinkNate) August 31, 2017
In some ways, that’s a bummer. In others, perhaps Syracuse spends the year dedicating itself to creating (with Nike) a more palatable option for fans and recruits alike. When the last redesign was rolled out in 2014, it was met with a lukewarm reception. Illinois pretty much received the redesign we were hoping for, and ever since, we’ve been wearing mostly-blue uniform (much to our frustration).
It looks like we’ll have at least one more year of these duds now.
A lot will depend on where Syracuse’s athletic contract goes, however. As we discussed over the summer, there’s mutual interest between SU and both Under Armour and Adidas. But the school’s long-term relationship with Nike could prevent a move for the time being. Syracuse has been tied with Nike for some time, and while the football results have been questionable, the basketball advantage is very real.
Just this week, Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant expressed what many others have thought: “no one wants to play in Under Armours.” Durant is sponsored by Nike, like many other top hoops players. Syracuse’s Nike relationship reaps the rewards of that attitude in today’s recruiting battles.
If we have to choose between SU basketball declining and football looking slightly better with a non-Nike supplier or the status quo, I think we’re taking the latter. In any case, expect more of the same for 2017, and hopefully a new set come 2018.