ARLINGTON, Texas — Chris Klieman only could laugh when he heard the question. Don’t expect Kansas State’s football team to deviate from its traditional uniform look this fall — in large part because Nike hasn’t made it a priority.
“If you try to call Nike and think you’re going to get an order in right now, you’re nuts,” Klieman said with a chuckle last week at Big 12 football media days. “So I wouldn’t think a whole lot is going to go on right now and this year.”
The Wildcats sported their well-known uniform combinations — which came into fashion under legendary head coach Bill Snyder starting with his first season at the helm in 1989 — in all 10 games in 2020: purple jerseys with white stripes, silver pants and silver helmets featuring a purple Powercat logo for home contests; white jerseys with purple stripes, silver pants and silver helmets with the purple Powercat for road affairs.
That wasn’t the case in 2019, when K-State tweaked its uniforms on three occasions in Klieman’s debut campaign:
• For a home game against Baylor that October, K-State donned its normal purple jersey. The alterations came with the pants — white instead of silver — and helmet, which was white and had the word “Cats” written in script font on the front to go along with the purple Powercat logo.
• The following month, K-State used the “Cats” script font as the primary logo on both sides of its helmets in a home game against West Virginia. It was a nod to the past: The Wildcats last used the “Cats” helmets during the 1988 season, the year before Snyder’s arrival.
• December’s Liberty Bowl marked the most drastic change: K-State went with an all-white look against Navy. It consisted of white jerseys with purple stripes, white pants and a white helmet with a purple Powercat logo on both sides.
The Wildcats lost all three contests in which they switched up their traditional look in 2019.
That’s not going to deter them when it comes to alternate uniforms in the future, however.
“I know there have been talks as we continue to move forward about different combinations,” Klieman said.
That just won’t occur until Klieman and athletics director Gene Taylor finally can sit down with Nike executives at the apparel giant’s massive headquarters in Beaverton, Ore.
“I think Gene and I were supposed to go out there three times in the last 18 months, and they’ve all been canceled,” Klieman said. “So I don’t see much happening (on the uniform front this season). Everybody is going to try to get through with what they have this year.”