University officials like to say the Seminoles will wear black to offer tribute to the Seminole Tribe. But when asked about the jerseys earlier this week, Bowden's first thought offered perhaps the most honest explanation why FSU will dress in black.
"Really," he said, "we're doing it for Nike."
FSU and Nike are in the 11th year of a multi-million-dollar contract that could bind the two parties through the 2014-15 academic year. For branding its athletes with a Nike swoosh, Florida State receives $1 million per year from Nike. The contract also allows FSU each academic year to order, free of charge, approximately $2.1 million worth of Nike products for its athletic programs.
During the past couple seasons, FSU's order has included the black football jerseys, which feature the word "unconquered"--a tribute to the Seminole Tribe--down one of the pant legs.