Huskies now plan to use their old Riddell helmets this season.
Seattle startup Vicis has pulled its helmets from Washington Huskies football training camp because it wanted to make “non-safety related refinements toward fit and comfort,” according to a UW statement.
The Huskies, for the first time this month, wore their old Riddell helmets during practice Wednesday afternoon, and a UW spokesman said the plan is for the Huskies to wear their old helmets during the season.
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“Obviously a little bit disappointing,” UW coach Chris Petersen said after Wednesday’s practice. “But I have a lot of respect for Vicis, getting it right, wanting them back, and we’ll fix it. I think when you’re trying to be on the cutting edge of innovating, it’s never going to be seamless process. They’re the ones that came to us (Wednesday morning) and said we want them back to look at them and make them right.”
Vicis, co-founded by a UW mechanical engineering professor, has raised more than $14 million while attempted to create the safest helmet on the market, and UW was one of two college teams to test out the Vicis helmets during fall camp this month.
A spokesman for Vicis said the company has also pulled its helmets from Oregon.
The specific issues were with the forehead padding and chinstrap, and Vicis does not have a timeline for when it might be able to complete the fixes.
Even with the return of their old helmets, Petersen was noncommittal about the idea of the Huskies again using different color combinations. But he did say, rather emphatically, that gold would be the primary helmet color.
The Vicis helmets received generally positive reviews from UW players in the past week, though some complained that they were heavy and stiff. Other players bemoaned losing the “swag” that comes with having multiple color combination with their helmets.