No black jerseys for UT

When new Tennessee football coach Lane Kiffin showed up in black attire for some public appearances last winter he sparked wild rumors throughout Big Orange Country.

Here's a sampling:

- The new coach doesn't like orange.

- He's going to wear black on the sidelines.

- He's going to add black trim to the uniforms.

- He's planning to outfit the team in black jerseys for a big game.

Amused by the rampant speculation, UT athletics director Mike Hamilton opened a Tuesday morning news conference on renovations at Neyland Stadium by deadpanning: "I want to talk a little bit about when we're going to unveil the black jerseys ..."

After a brief pause, he broke into a grin, bringing hoots of laughter from the assembled media types.

Kiffin, fresh from a 5-15 record in one-plus seasons coaching the black-clad Oakland Raiders of the NFL, took the dais moments later and immediately fielded a question about whether he has given any thought to changing the Vol uniforms.

"Absolutely not," he said. "I don't think a uniform has anything to do with whether you win or lose. We need to get really good players here and get our players that are here right now headed in the right direction, on and off the field, so I've not given any thought to that at all.

"I did hear a report that I was changing the jerseys to black, and that black was my favorite color," Kiffin added, flashing a smug grin. "If you watched the last two years of my life, you probably realized that I don't like black."

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