Michigan State

1976 Spartans
(Authentic Reproduction)


In the spring of '76, the NCAA, after a lengthy investigation, hammered the program with penalties because of extreme recruiting violations. Stolz and most of his staff were forced to resign, a ban on all bowl and television appearances, a three-year probation, and the forced ineligibility of seven players dampened any hopes for upcoming Big Ten titles. Darryl Rogers had come in as head coach from San Jose State in late April of 1976, barely enough time to learn his players' names for the start of the season and this was the result of the NCAA's forced firing of the football staff for recruiting violations. He had previously been the head coach at Fresno State before taking the San Jose helm. Rogers did a good job in cobbling together a 4-6-1 record his first year under the circumstances. Giving the team a new look and perhaps a new attitude in the face of NCAA player suspensions of varying lengths, the helmets were Kelly green with a white one-inch center stripe flanked by a one-half-inch gap on each side and then a one-half-inch white flanking stripe. The white-green-white striping appearance was set-off by classic side numerals, three-inch full block style white numbers. Rogers maintained the Kelly green masks that were introduced in 1974. After missing the first game QB Ed Smith threw for 1749 yards and wingback Kirk Gibson pulled in thirty-nine receptions for 748 yards. The defense however wasn't very good, giving up 4099 yards and 278 points but Rogers seemed to have done quite well in his first season.

If interested in any of these MSU helmets please click on the photos below.