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Would a return to ‘The Big Red’ save Indiana hoops?

Forget “Cream and Crimson.” An Indiana fan is asking the school for a return to “Big Red.”

When William “Woody” Oakes graduated from IU in 1974, right when Bob Knight was establishing a Hoosiers hoops dynasty and his teams were sporting bright red hues, rather than the official colors of “Cream and Crimson.”

Those bright red colors went away in 2003 when then-athletic director Michael McNeely officially had all 24 Indiana men’s and women’s sports team wear the “Cream and Crimson.” Well, Woody says it’s time to revert back to red.

“The original intent was to create unity and it’s done just the opposite,” Oakes told Tribune News Services. “I’ve had season tickets for 30-something years and now you go and there’s people in red sweaters, burgundy shirts, and some kind of crimson. So it’s had the opposite effect of creating any kind of unity.”

His website,, lists several reasons why the school should suit up in red – including polls indicating a majority of fans think the same – but here’s my favorite:

Maybe I’m starting to sound like a “whack job” (or maybe a conspiracy theorist?) but look what’s happened after the color change?

  • Mike Davis
  • Kelvin Sampson
  • Gerry DeNardo
  • Bill Lynch
  • Worst Win/Loss record in basketball and football (combined) since any time in IU’s recent history
  • Wisconsin scores 83 points against our football team?

Now there’s some compelling evidence.

Maybe Woody’s in luck. Sounds like current Indiana AD Fred Glass isn’t opposed to pulling ou those red uniforms – especially now that Nebraska’s joining the Big Ten.

“My view is that we’re an awfully big and diverse place,” Glass told Tribune Services. “I think cream and crimson and ‘Go Big Red’ can survive in one place.”

“I did tell Tom Osborne, the AD at Nebraska, that we need to create a new trophy game -- maybe for the right to claim to be the true big red in the Big Ten. We might have some fun with that.”

Want more? I’m also on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.