UK Checkerboard Unis Have Become Something Of A Political Debate

The University of Kentucky's famous, err...infamous checkerboard uniforms are creating a stir in parts of the Bluegrass State. Residents within the Bell and Harlan counties seem to be checker-bored with the Wildcats' uniform designs that seem to borrow the distinctive checkerboard pattern from neighboring SEC rival Tennessee. So much so that Adam Bowling, a Kentucky State Rep, addressed the attire with the university.

During a recent legislative hearing pertaining to government contracts, Bowling questioned UK's Tom Harris, VP of Community Relations, about the Wildcats' marketing contract: “Is that still their goal moving forward because, believe it or not, I know we kind of laugh at it, but I’ve had a lot of people that have reached out to me that aren’t a fan of becoming Checkerboard U,” said Bowling.

Tennessee began painting their end zones with a checkerboard pattern as far back as the early 1960s and have continued to do so today. Roughly 30 years prior, Kentucky briefly used a similar design for their field, but the pattern was short-lived and not associated with the program. In 2008, UK sports teams reintroduced their version of the blue and white checkerboard design. And since then, the design has become a regular part of the rotation for Big Blue's athletic teams and regularly appears throughout campus facilities.

Representing Kentucky's 87th District, Bowling continued his push for the school to reconsider the checkerboard design, which is most commonly associated the Volunteers: “I don’t know if you all have plans to look at that and maybe consult with them or talk with them about going a different direction. I know a lot of times now when I see new facilities, it’s actually implemented into the buildings themselves or the fields, or the turfs or whatnot, and it just may be something you all want to look at because I’ve gotten a lot of feedback," Bowling said to the committee.

Kentucky's Harris responded with the opposite of a long-winded answer, saying: “Fair point. I’ll pass that along.”

Look good, feel good. Feel good, play good. Just as long as it's not in checkerboards.