If UMass is making alternate black uniforms to their traditional maroon outfits, they picked a heck of a way to leak them. (Mark L. Baer-US PRESSWIRE)
Hints of a new look for the UMass Minutemen have been dropped quite a bit this offseason, by a few different parties. This makes sense, of course - new division, new conference, new stadium, new uniforms. What many may not have been ready for is a completely new color scheme. Throughout their history, the Minutemen have sported various uniform designs, but all of these have used their standard maroon-and-white palette. This looks like it will change in 2012, as a season ticket advertisement in this summer's UMass alumni magazine (flip to page 41) shows the team in all-black getups.
Your UMass Darth Vaders, everyone! Seriously though, I think this is a pretty solid look, and I'm typically averse to the use of black for black's sake. The color has been creeping into their uniforms already over the last few years so it isn't an entirely unfamiliar prospect. The change is sure to enrage traditionalists, but it should also stir up a good amount of discussion around the team once it shows up on billboards and TVs around Massachusetts, and discussion is one of the things this team needs as they try to establish a foothold in the New England FBS scene.
It's a bit odd for the kits to leak out in this way before an official unveiling, but it wouldn't be the first time it happened in sports. It has been confirmed by Maroon Musket's Bob McGovern that this will be the official color scheme for the 2012 team. What remains to be seen is if this is the official template for the jerseys, if there will be a maroon alternate, and what the aways will look like. Who knows, they might even bring out 37 different combos of helmets, jerseys, and pants like that Nike playground in Oregon. So, MAC fans, what do you think of the new duds?