Penn State football to give uniform a makeover?

Penn State tight end Andrew Szczerba takes a knee after their 17-14 loss to Nebraska in an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 12, 2011, in State College, Pa. Penn State played for the first time in decades without former head coach Joe Paterno, after he was fired in the wake of a child sex abuse scandal involving a former assistant coach. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke) AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Penn State tight end Andrew Szczerba takes a knee after their 17-14 loss
Penn State tight end Andrew Szczerba takes a knee after their 17-14 loss to Nebraska in an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 12, 2011, in State College, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
AP Photo/Matt Rourke

(CBS News) In the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal, Penn State tore down the famed bronze Joe Paterno statue.

Now the university's new football coach Bill O'Brien is apparently angling toward another image makeover: changing the school's iconic uniforms.

O'Brien spoke to the parents of Nittany Lion players on a conference call in a bid to reassure them that he would keep the team intact, according to Rich Scarcella of Nittany Extra. During the call, Scarcella noted: "O'Brien also told the parents that he has talked to Nike about changing Penn State's plain blue and white uniforms, a staple of the program for decades under former coach Joe Paterno. He also said he's looking to put names on the back of the jerseys."

Special Section: The Penn State Scandal

O'Brien has inherited a difficult situation to say the least so it's no surprise that he is trying to rebrand the football program's image in any way he can. Still the coach is aware that changing the iconic uniform won't come easily.

"It might be easier said than done (for this season)," O'Brien said, according to Scarcella. "I'm not sure we can get it done this year."

In the meantime, O'Brien has his work cut out for him to try to keep his squad together. NCAA sanctions will keep the Nittany Lions out of a bowl game for the rest of these players' careers, and college sports' governing body is allowing any of them to transfer to another school and get on the field right away.

On Wednesday, more than 30 Penn State players vowed to stay with the program but on Thursday ESPN.com reported that the team's star running back Silas Redd was scheduled to meet with USC.

Preseason practice starts at Penn State on Aug. 6.

  • Stephen Smith

    Stephen Smith is a senior editor for CBSNews.com

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