New uniforms bring UCCS full circle in name game

By Doug Fitzgerald published November 14, 2005

The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs womenâ€TMs basketball team unveiled its new look Monday as the Mountain Lions received their new uniforms.

The most important change will be the “UCCS” moniker on the front. The team has simply had “Colorado” stitched on the front for several seasons. Previous incarnations have had “Colorado” in large block letters and “Colorado Springs” in smaller script lettering.

The new home uniforms are white with gold and black trim. A broad black band runs across the chest within which UCCS is stitched in gold. The road uniforms are black with bold gold accents and a gold band with the UCCS in black.

A consortium or Colorado Springs area businesses donated the money for the new uniforms.

The new look is another step in ridding the athletic programs of an identity crisis that has existed since the beginning of intercollegiate athletics at UCCS in 1986. That first season, UCCS competed in womenâ€TMs volleyball and menâ€TMs soccer while wearing green, black and white and calling themselves the Hawks. In the spring of 1987, the University of Colorado Board of Regents nixed both the colors and the name, restricting UCCS to the colors of the Boulder campus and strongly suggesting a nickname that more closely affiliated UCCS with its sister campus. Suggestions such as Bison, Baby Buffs and Austin Buffs were rejected and UCCS settled on one of the school colors, calling its teams the Gold.

UCCS students voted in the spring of 1999 to rename the teams, opting for the Mountain Lions. UCCS teams began using the new nickname starting in the 2000-01 season.

While the nickname found stability during that period, the schoolâ€TMs name was thrown into chaos. The university administration banned the familiar, and appropriate, UCCS initials in the mid 90s in favor of CU-the Springs. When that failed to gain popular appeal, the university began referring to itself as CU-Colorado Springs. Since the athletic department canâ€TMt afford new uniforms annually, there was a brief period when all three incarnations of the name were on one program or the otherâ€TMs uniform all at the same time. In fact, CU-the Springs is still emblazoned at midcourt in the Lionsâ€TM Den â€" and the gymâ€TMs colors are columbine blue, an accepted accent color for the CU system at the time the floor was surfaced, and black.

In February of 2005, the name game came full circle when the Board of Regents reinstituted the UCCS initials as officially identifying the university.

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