Why Does LSU Football Wear White At Home?
There's been a lot of talk this week about the LSU Football team wearing their purple jerseys when they visit Vanderbilt in Nashville on Saturday. They will put on the purple unis because Vanderbilt will be wearing an alternative jersey with a white/grey base and black trims.
Wearing a colored jersey on the road would be weird for almost any school. Most sports teams wear their school/team colors during home contests, so the visiting team is generally wearing white jerseys. Unless your'e LSU of course.
LSU is one of only two college football programs who wear their white jerseys on the road AND at home. The other school is Georgia Tech.
So when LSU usually wears their alternative purple (or other color) jerseys, its a special game in Baton Rouge (like this year's Northwestern State game), and not on the road. Except for this weekend against Vanderbilt, which is why this is a big deal.
So why does LSU wear road jerseys at home? Well, it wasn't easy to do, and at one point it wasn't allowed, but it all comes down to superstition and a curse...here's from SaturdayDownSouth.com:
"While most of college football dons the dark jerseys at home (Georgia Tech is another exception), LSU has dared to be a little different. It started in 1958 when Tigers coach Paul Dietzel decided that his team should wear white at home. When LSU won the national championship that year, well, the white jerseys were destined for longevity in Baton Rouge.
But in 1983, it looked like the tradition would come crashing down when new NCAA rules prohibited home teams from wearing white.
So LSU was forced to don its purple jerseys (blasphemy in Baton Rouge) at home between 1983 and ’94. Despite winning SEC titles in 1986 and ’88, passionate Tigers fans often complained the purple threads were bad luck and that an important Bayou football tradition had been pushed to the side.
In 1993, coach Curley Hallman asked the NCAA if LSU could start wearing the white jerseys at home again during LSU football’s centennial. He was denied.
It looked like The Legend of the White Jerseys was just that — a legendary piece of LSU football history to be viewed in pictures but never to be played out in a live game again. But in 1995, new coach Gerry DiNardo saved this fading memory.
DiNardo did everything possible to restore the lore of the white jerseys. He met with each member of the NCAA Football Rules Committee, and his persistence paid off. The NCAA finally said “yes,” and LSU again was allowed to wear white at home to start that ’95 season.
As if from the sheets of a movie script, an unranked Tigers team beat No. 6 Auburn 12-6 in their first home game with the white uniforms, and all was right in the Bayou again."