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The Gophers wore black helmets, black jerseys and black pants for their Sept. 9 game against Eastern Michigan. That look didn't sit well with some fans who prefer the traditional maroon-and-gold attire.

Coach P.J. Fleck explained the reasoning behind the decision.

"I get the tradition. I'm here to uphold that tradition,'' he said. "OK, we haven't changed the mascot. We haven't changed the name. We haven't changed the colors. We're adding a little flavor to it. That's because it's all about the players. . . . The student-athletes love it. Our student body loves it. The young people love it, and I get it. That's why every week we do something a little different for everyone.''

Fleck added that players have input on the uniform decision and that the alternate look is popular with recruits.

"Our players get to have a piece and a voice to what we wear,'' he said. "… They get a meeting with me and our crew manager, who lays out all these combinations.''

Fleck pointed to the black uniforms that Ohio State and Florida have worn as examples of traditional powers testing the boundaries.

"I had a lot of emails about it, and I feel it,'' he said of those opposed. "But I also got just as many, if not more, about how much people liked them.''