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.