September 1, 2018 Atlanta - Georgia Tech running back Jordan Mason (24) celebrates with teammates after he scored a touchdown in the first half of the Georgia Tech home opener at Bobby Dodd Stadium on Saturday, September 1, 2018. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM
Photo: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC
Photo: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

Louisville’s Petrino: Georgia Tech jersey numbers ‘difficult’ to see

Georgia Tech fans aren’t the only ones who are having a difficult time reading the jersey numbers on the Yellow Jackets’ new home uniforms. As Louisville has prepared to play Tech on Friday, Cardinals coach Bobby Petrino said he and his staff have had difficulty identifying players as they watch game video.

“It actually has been very hard to see what those numbers are,” Petrino said on the ACC coaches teleconference Wednesday. “It’s been difficult for us on video.”

Tech’s home jerseys, designed by Adidas, are white with gold numbers and navy-blue borders. On message boards and elsewhere, Tech fans have complained that the gold is difficult to see against the white.

For Petrino and his staff, the problem is more significant, as they need to identify specific players to develop a scouting report and game plan for Tech. The effort to do so has evidently cost Louisville time.

“We’re always going back and forth trying to figure out what the numbers are,” Petrino said.

Tech spokesman Mike Flynn said that the athletic department has heard from a few fans with the same complaint, and that the school may bring it up with Adidas in the future, but noted that the jerseys meet NCAA guidelines. The team also has white jerseys with navy numbers that it uses for road games that are much more legible, as well as an alternate navy jersey with gold numbers.

Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi, whose team played Tech in the second game of the season, acknowledged that it was “tough” to read the jersey numbers but downplayed the matter.

“As long as you get a good look at the jersey one time, you can pretty much tell body types who they are,” he said. “The guy with the white socks, the guy with the towel.”

Tech had the same issue when it debuted gold on white jerseys in 2011. Similar complaints arose then after the season opener, prompting the athletic department to put in a rush order with Russell Athletic for new jerseys with navy numbers that were received by the third game.

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