What began as an idea floated by Brian Niedermeyer on Twitter has turned into a distinct possibility. Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt broke some news this week that the Volunteers were hoping to wear black uniforms against Kentucky this year, something that hasn’t been done since 2009.
Even back then when it happened under Lane Kiffin, the look wasn’t exactly the cleanest. The completed uniforms placed the Vols in orange pants and black jerseys with a white helmet on Halloween night against South Carolina.
This time around, Tennessee is hoping to get a more complete look. But there are a few hurdles to clear first. Assistant coach Tee Martin gave a little more detail on Fox Sports Knoxville on Friday.
“I don’t know about helmets,” Martin said. “I think the plan is to have black uniforms, for sure. But with the orders, it being such a short notice and the way things are, some of these companies are backed up and I don’t know if they can turn it around.”
Potential black or even orange helmets would certainly be a big change from the traditional white, but would absolutely tie the entire uniform together. However, as Martin said, with the current condition challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, it could be a tough ask to create that new look.
“‘Hawk’ and Fraz,’ (Tennessee’s equipment team) they’re the best in the business, baby, so we’re going to see what we can pull out,” Martin added.
Niedermeyer’s initial mock-up showed black uniforms with a white helmet, for what it’s worth.
Yo @coachtee17 let them know!— Brian Niedermeyer (@NiedermeyerB) April 30, 2020
BLACK! #BringBackBlackJerseysMovement pic.twitter.com/46tYKUcBcU
Here are a few different options, via Chad Fields.
It’s not difficult. Here are your best options. https://t.co/9DqW4e8HBJ pic.twitter.com/dQZKo60L6K— Chad Fields (Vols Uniform Boy) (@CfieldsVFL) June 18, 2020
“The topic came up as a staff as to what we can do, and we talked about an opportunity to wear black uniforms for the Kentucky game,” Martin continued. “And we came up with the idea to possibly sell, auction, whatever, however it’s best for us to do this, to raise money to support local causes in the black community and communities that need help.”
Martin did clarify that the staff had not decided on an organization to make the donation to just yet.
So all we know to this point is that the black uniforms are somewhere in the works, pending the ability to actually get them completed in time. If they are completed, Tennessee would wear them on November 7th at Neyland Stadium against Kentucky.