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Oregon unable to juice vests

By By Tony Krausz / assistant sports editor
Aug. 28, 2003
STARKVILLE Mississippi State University head football coach Jackie Sherrill's anxiety over Oregon gaining an unfair advantage in Saturday night's game has been put to rest.
The dean of Southeastern Conference Coaches expressed his displeasure about the prospect of the Ducks using a high-tech cooling vest in the season opener at Davis Wade Stadium.
It was reported that Oregon was tentatively planning on using an experimental cooling vests, which was developed by Oregon-base Nike, to help the players battle the Dixie heat.
The product is worn under the shoulder pads and can be connected to a sideline compressor that blows dehumidified air into a bladder-like device to cool players.
Sherrill said the Ducks will be unable to take advantage of the technology against MSU because of safety regulations at the stadium.
Oregon assistant athletic director/media services David Williford said he thought the controversy over the vest was a little overblown in a phone interview on Wednesday.
Sherrill was unhappy that the Ducks had access to the new vest because the Bulldogs, who also get their equipment from Nike, were not initially given access to the new equipment.
Sherrill also expressed concern about using the vests because he didn't know if his team would be able to get use to the new equipment in time for the game.
MSU is scheduled to kickoff against Oregon a 8 p.m. Saturday. The game will be televised on ESPN2.