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Dr. Saturday

NCAA rule forces Arizona to make small change to its uniforms for 2014 (Photo)

Sam Cooper
Dr. Saturday

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Arizona's red and blue uniforms won't feature gradient numbering in 2014 (USA Today Sports)

There are many quirky rules in the NCAA rule book that we only hear about once in a while and one of those rules is causing Arizona to make a change to its uniforms.

The Wildcats unveiled new Nike uniforms for the 2013 season and the numbers featured gradient, faded blue-to-red numbers. The NCAA created a rule disallowing those number patterns in 2013, but the Wildcats had already established their redesign, so the NCAA allowed a one-year exemption. That one year has passed, so the change was necessary.

Via Arizona Desert Swarm, the NCAA rule states:

“Jerseys must have clearly visible, permanent Arabic numerals measuring at least 8 and 10 inches in height front and back, respectively, and be of one solid color that itself is clearly in distinct contrast with the color of the jersey, irrespective of any border around the number." This rule goes into effect for Football Bowl Subdivision teams in 2013. Football Championship Subdivision, Division II and Division III teams will have until 2014 before the rule becomes effective.”

To comply with the rule, the team unveiled its new uniforms for 2014 Wednesday that feature solid red and blue numbering.

The gradient numbers were cool, but to me, the solid numbers are sharp and look better. For comparison, here's how the jerseys looked last year: Ultimately, it's a small change that still fits in with the new, modern look the team had established in 2013. And on top of that, I bet the solid numbers are a lot easier for media members to identify from the press box, but for those who prefer the 2013 numbering, the white uniforms will still feature gradient numbers moving forward.

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