Some want no messing with West Virginia's uniforms and colors. Others stick at modifying the helmet. There's even a percentage that want to return to WVU's "real" colors of old gold and blue. Their reactions, as well as those of many others, are already bubbling in at the unveiling of West Virginia's Pro Combat uniforms this morning in New York City.
The uniforms are inspired by and pay homage to West Virginia's coal tradition, and are dedicated to the memory of the 29 miners who lost their lives in the explosion at the Upper Big Branch mine earlier this year.
The new uniforms are mostly white, with black accents on the sleeves, yoke and pants. A gold stripe down the middle of the helmet, which is a dusty gray and black, symbolizes the beam of light from a coal miner's lamp. The helmet also features a small flying WV on the front nameplate and "Mountaineers" on the protective lip on the bottom back. The flying WV, inside a shield, is also featured on the yoke. fingerprints and smudges, meant to represent a long day's work in the mines, are scattered across the numbers and sleeves of the jersey.
The most striking portion of the gear may well be the gold shoes, emblematic of the canaries that were formerly employed in mines as rudimentary methane detectors.
Custom undergear and gloves featuring the flying WV round out the special uniform look.
The new gear, will be featured when West Virginia travels to Pitt in November for the Backyard Brawl. WVU basketball coach Bob Huggins served as the presenter for West Virginia's special gear.