The newest craze in “throwback” gear? SMS jerseys.
Southwest Missouri State will become Missouri St. in August, thanks to a bill in the Missouri House which passed 120-35 on Tuesday. The final hurdle to be cleared is approval from Governor Matt Blunt, who is expected to sign the bill within the next two weeks. SMS Athletic Director Bill Rowe believes the name change will give the athletic programs more respect than a directional name.
“Many of our opponents will tell us, particularly from the east coast or west coast, a lot of them will say. ‘Yeah, we know how tough you guys are, but our fans don’t. They hear Southwest and they get it mixed up with Southwest Minnesota, Southern Miss., Southwest Texas,” Rowe said.
But the name change isn’t intended to tarnish the 150 years of SMS. “This is no disrespect, in any way, to the fact that we’re (dropping the name) Southwest Missouri State. But for us in athletics it will make a difference.”