Monday, November 21, 2016

Auburn's Two Tiger Stripe Uniforms

Remember when the 2015 Auburn Basketball team broke out alternate uniforms for part of the season? Turns out that wasn't the first time the Tigers had done so. Recently I started diving back into the basketball uniform research that I've always enjoyed, trying to tackle the late 1990s to mid 2000s time period that has always been difficult to research. With media guides and Glomeratas by my side, I have nailed most of it down, but there was a secondary issue that came up.

Scott Pohlman sports one of the two different Tiger Stripe uniforms that
Auburn wore in 1998-99 and 1999-00 (original photo via Getty Images)


Much like the 2014-15 team, Auburn began the 1998-99 season by wearing the same uniforms from the year before. It wasn't until post season play that things began to change. These changes would ultimately set the stage for Auburn basketball's uniforms up until 2004. The Tigers faced rival Alabama in the first round of the SEC Tournament on March 5, 1999. They did so wearing what might possibly be the fan favorite uniforms.

Auburn's original Tiger Stripe uniforms featured an orange wordmark on the chest and numbers. The most defining element of the jerseys, secondary to the tiger stripe trim, was the placement of the AU logo on the collar. The logo was placed on a blue piece of cloth, sewn on behind the striped collar. For lack of a better term, I dubbed this a "bib" and will refer to it as such throughout this piece.

Daymeon Fishback sported the "button" version of the
Tiger Stripe jersey against Florida in 2000

Following the SEC Tournament, the 1998-99 Auburn Tigers team made it to the NCAA Tournament, eventually losing to Ohio State in the Sweet 16. The Tigers wore these "bib" jerseys throughout their postseason play.

As the 1999-00 season began, Auburn was once again sporting the "bib" jerseys, defeating UAB in the season opening game. It wasn't until the team played in the San Juan Shootout in Puerto Rico that things changed. I can't nail down the exact game, but I'm pretty certain it was the December 21 game against Virginia Tech that marked the change in design. The orange wordmark and numbers were changed to blue, and the collar was changed from the "bib" to more of a "button" that sat on top of the collar (similar to this). The "button" jerseys were worn throughout the rest of the season.

Secondary to the jersey changes, the team also switched up the shorts. The first season, the Tigers wore a pair of white shorts that featured a white waist band that sported an orange AU logo on the front. For the following season, Auburn switched to a blue waist band that featured the Tiger Eyes logo on the front.

A side-by-side photo that showcases all the differences between the two versions of the Tiger Stripe uniforms, including
the different color wordmark and numbers, the AU logo placement on the collar, and the waist band color and logo.
The Tiger Stripe jerseys were only worn during two seasons before being retired. Sadly, the white jerseys that replaced them may be the worst uniform ever worn by Auburn. That and more information on the dark days of Auburn basketball uniforms will be coming next week.

It's no secret that Auburn's history is poorly documented, but it is rather shocking that so few photos and videos exist of this time period - arguably the greatest time in Auburn basketball history. It's only fitting that one of the most popular uniforms for the Auburn basketball program - and the story behind it and it's counterpart - were lost to history. Until now.



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2 comments:

  1. Great article. Scott Pohlman went to my high school. Really nice guy.

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  2. Great story! I remember when the team broke these our for the first time and being floored by how sharp the tiger stripes looked. Very very trendy for the time period too. It be neat if they could work this into a throwback for a game or two every year. WDE!

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