BYU Costume: Remember the new bibs and emblem – Deseret News

Note: This story is part of the Deseret News Sports Team Flashback Friday series, which revisits unforgettable moments with the participation of Utah teams.

Did you know that a newspaper intern discovered BYU’s “new” logo before the big reveal in August 1999?

Mostly not. I suspect most BYU fans have bypassed the apron’s uniform and cougar-on-the-Mountain logo. (what was it Mountain slogans in the ’90s?)

Plus, I didn’t tell anyone other than my editor and the rest of the sports staff at the Daily Herald. But boy, did playing video games pay off that year or what?

Let’s go back.

As the 1999 football season approached, Brigham University’s Department of Sports announced a rebranding with new logos and uniforms. The new look will be revealed at a press conference scheduled for August 16.

“Until then, the lips are sealed,” The Deseret News reported at the time. “BYU employees have been asked not to discuss the changes and vendors have signed nondisclosure agreements.”

So imagine my surprise when I brought my new copy of NCAA Football 2000 from EA Sports home to my college apartment, turned on my PlayStation and I discovered a new BYU logo. The game was released on July 29 – more than two weeks before the press conference. The uniform was the same royal and white color combination as the previous year – but there was nothing wrong with the new logo.

What happened next is complicated. I couldn’t tweet the photo or send it to anyone in those days. So I took my console to work, figured out a way to hook it up to my newsroom TV, and then proudly shared my discoveries with the sports crew. My presentation was followed by a lot of conversations between editors that I didn’t participate in.

It took negotiation and time, but we eventually published a story with the image of the new logo on August 13th.You can watch the digital version of the story here.)

“At some point we knew someone was going to get their hands on it,” athletic director Val Hill said in the story.

Being a trainee, I didn’t get the byline. But I didn’t care. I finally had proof that playing video games was a worthwhile endeavor.

And while we got the scoop on the logo, which was a secondary emblem of a larger family, we were still in the dark over the uniform – so the biggest surprise was yet to come.


BYU soccer players Kevin Feterik (7), Byron Frisch (93), Margin Hooks (14) and Rob Morris (44) show off their new uniforms.

Stuart Johnson, The Desert News

At the time, I was a student and intern at the local newspaper, so I ended up in the press box for the season opener against Washington. Weeks ago, BYU introduced a new Nike home uniform with blue numbers on a white background that resembles an apron. It was a departure from traditional royal attire that defined the LaVell Edwards era, and there was a lot of strong reaction from BYU fans.

But then again, this was before the brand was buried in angst and derision within five minutes on social media. So for many people, the season opener was a precursor to BYU’s bold new look.

The game itself was a classic. BYU took the lead early on. Washington rallied behind future NFL quarterback Marquis Toyasusubo. The Cougars eventually won out late with a long pass from Kevin Veterek to freshman Chris Hill, who happened to be the athletic director’s son.

But what I remember most were the questionable comments in the press box about the uniform, especially from the out-of-town media. “Wait, is this outfit purple?” I remember someone asking.


BYU quarterback Kevin Veterek after being relegated to Washington in 1999.

Gary M McKellar, Deseret News

The answer depends a little on the lighting. But yeah, they were kind of purple. Defensive end, Byron Frisch, apparently thinks the same.

“Purple is a little bit purple,” said Seth Lewis, a writer for the then Daily Universe.

But a lot of players seem to like them. I have a fond memory of a BYU player who told me during an interview, “I don’t care what everyone says. I love our uniforms.”

Decades later, the bibs are not fondly remembered. they made SBNation’s list of the worst college football uniforms in history. KSL’s Mitch Harper put it on his list of Five worst in school historyand my colleague Sam Benson, as a young writer on Bleacher Report, Gave them F-minus.

Most importantly, the NCAA didn’t like it. After the 1999 season, BYU was informed that it could not have white on its main jersey except for the uniform number and accents. apparently, Some opponents found the bibs baffling.

As a result, we couldn’t see the bibs the following year in NCAA Football 2001 and they ended up with a very short shelf life—all six games. The last time they wore the Cougars, they lost 20-17 to Utah in a match that cost them the Frank Conference Championship.

New logos hung longer, but can’t be found at BYU’s Today’s official brand website.

Leave a Comment