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Upon landing in Knoxville, Summitt was whisked to St. Mary's Hospital, where after 4� hours of labor she gave birth to 7-pound, 2-ounce Ross Tyler Summitt—Tyler to his friends.
Tyler, a frequent visitor to Lady Vol practices, is clearly a highly regarded addition to the Tennessee program. He held his first press conference two days after his birth, and he has already been outfitted with home and away uniforms and warmups. The circumstances of his birth will also be recounted in the Tennessee media guide.
The word is in from the top college basketball designers. The new season's line will continue the trend of the last few years: Shorts will be big and droopy, revealing no more than a hint of thigh.
Call this the Michael J look, as in Jordan, who is widely credited with igniting the trend. "I think once kids saw Jordan flying with that look, they started thinking big and baggy," said Lewis Hardy, vice-president of marketing for Champion Products, which manufactures more than 30% of the uniforms used in college basketball. "We started making a larger cut, called the boxer cut, with a larger inseam and just bigger in every way. Now we've adjusted our base patterns to that type of cut because it's not a trend anymore, it's the standard."
The players say the look features function as well as fashion. "Part of it is just that the look is what's happening right now," said Michigan State All-America guard Steve Smith. "Part of it is that you feel like you can move better in them. It might be all psychological, but that's how it feels."
In an update of this trend, the truly hip hoopster this season wouldn't be caught dead without tights poking out from underneath his oversized shorts. Bike Athletic Co. began manufacturing the tights—compression shorts, to those in the business—for football players in 1981, but they eventually found their way into basketball.
"The first place I saw it show up was on TV at Notre Dame about five years ago," said Randy Black, vice-president of sales and marketing at Bike. "[Coach] Digger Phelps was being interviewed and I could see the players practicing in the background with our compression shorts on. I called Digger and he told me he believed in the product from a preventive sports medicine standpoint, in the support it gives to the hamstring, groin and abdominal muscles."
The rest is basketball fashion history. If you think the trend makes players look as though they're wearing Mom's girdle under Dad's boxer shorts, remember: Fashion goes in cycles.