Helmets, shoulder pads big expenses


NEW ORLEANS – Abe Reed has seen a lot of change in his 22 years at Clemson.

“My first year was with (coach) Tommy West,” Reed said. “We went 3-8.”

The wins have been a bit more lately for the Tigers – and Reed.

“We had a great little run here,” said Reed, who is head of the Clemson football program’s chief equipment.

The Clemson football uniform typically costs over $ 2,000.

On Saturday, Reed was busy preparing equipment for the Tigers’ first on-site practice for Monday night’s college football playoff national championship game against No.1 LSU.

Reed staff members packed an 18-wheeler “front to back, top to bottom,” Reed told Clemson on Thursday. On Friday, Reed unpacked the trailer, which contained 240 helmets – one for gaming and one for training for each of the 120 players – and countless numbers of protections, shirts, pants, socks, gloves, crampons and bracelets, among others. .

The equipment cost for the average Clemson player is around $ 2,600, which means over $ 312,000 in uniforms made the trip to New Orleans.

Helmets and shoulder pads represent the highest prices, averaging around $ 500 each.

“The cost of the helmet 15 years ago was around $ 125,” Reed said. “The cost of some helmets is now $ 1,500, with a minimum of $ 300. “

At least the cost of jerseys and pants has remained stable in comparison.

“That price for shirts and pants has probably been the same for about six years,” Reed said. “Not having a price increase in six years is pretty good.”

Equipment costs can range from an $ 8 wristband to $ 505 epaulettes for an offensive lineman. There is variation in the cost of most items depending on position, eg pads for a defensive back may differ from those worn by an attacking goalie.

Custom stamps and accessories are added to the price.

“You can do just about anything you want,” Reed said. “They’ll sew Velcro into the plastic if you want to so the jerseys don’t come up. It’s a bit like buying a car. No matter how many options and accessories you want to add, they will, but you will end up paying for it.

Or in this case, Clemson will end up paying for it.

The good news is that the soccer team continues to enjoy unprecedented success, which makes things fun for Reed and his team.

Clemson running back Travis Etienne (9) runs 47 yards for a touchdown during the first quarter at Memorial Stadium in Clemson, SC on Saturday, November 2, 2019.

He has been at Clemson since 1998 after making his debut at the University of Houston. He came to Clemson as a graduate assistant, rose through the ranks and was promoted to Equipment Manager seven years ago. He has witnessed many memorable moments, he’s not about to start taking them for granted.

“It’s amazing,” he said. “I have a 14 year old and an 11 year old and they enjoy the ride as much as everyone else. I watch some of the students I have that work for me and all they know is College Football Playoff. It’s crazy.”


Helmet: $ 469 / $ 502 (with paint, mask and chin bar)

Shoulder pads: $ 430 / $ 485 / $ 505

Crampons: $ 127 to $ 300

Socks: $ 9 $ 16

Gloves: $ 55 / $ 65 / $ 70

Bracelets: $ 8 / $ 9

Drift Shirt: $ 30 / $ 45

Belt: $ 30

Padded belt: $ 90

Offensive line quilted sheath: $ 120

Padded jock: $ 35

Quarterback shirt: $ 150

Visor: $ 50

Skull cap: $ 25

Skull wrap: $ 18

Arm sleeve: $ 25

Swimsuit: $ 160

Pants: $ 115


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