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Bielema: Illinois Can’t Wear Orange vs. Penn State due to ‘Supply Chain Issue’

Saturday’s Penn State-Illinois game will be an Orange Out at Illinois’ Memorial Stadium.

Illinois coach Bret Bielema told reporters Wednesday that he wanted the team to wear orange for the game in addition to its fans.

But that didn’t go according to plan.

“I tried to get orange jerseys here,” Bielema said. “We were going to go all orange, but a supply chain issue popped in, so we can’t get our orange jerseys.”

Bielema made an interesting comment about Penn State at his Monday presser. Although he mostly gave the standard praise— complimenting Penn State’s offense, defense and mentioning his relationship with coordinator Manny Diaz— he had a line that got some people talking.

“They do a tremendous job in recruiting,” Bielema said, “and they’re allowed to do things there at Penn State to allow them to get a lot of skill players in the program.”

Bielema wasn’t asked to elaborate, so it’s not entirely clear what he meant.

The PSU Twitter world speculates that it could be a reference to Name, Image and Likeness.

If this is indeed what Bielema was referring to, it would be somewhat ironic.

PSU fans have criticized the university for what they’ve perceived as a poor NIL inititive, and comments made by Franklin and former basketball coach Micah Shrewsberry have helped fuel that criticism.

Franklin told reporters after a spring practice in April that PSU was progressing, but “two years behind” in NIL.

Shrewsberry told Blue-White Illustrated’s Nate Bauer this past December that, out of 14 Big Ten schools, Penn State was either last or second to last in its NIL efforts.

When Shrewsberry left for Notre Dame in March, many people felt Penn State being behind in NIL was one of, if not the main reason.

What’s ironic is that, in the same interview, the program Shrewsberry cited as the model for NIL in the Big Ten was Illinois.

This will be Penn State’s second season playing in an Orange Out Week 3. Last year, Penn State went to Auburn. PSU and its fans are hoping this year’s game goes just as well. Penn State pounded Auburn, 41-12.

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