Oregon to wear pink helmets

Get ready to see some pink Ducks this weekend.

Nike revealed Thursday morning that the University of Oregon football team, which it sponsors and of which Nike chairman Phil Knight is an alumnus and its biggest booster, will wear pink cleats, socks, gloves and helmets for its home game against Washington State on Saturday.

The world's largest shoe and apparel company and the school have partnered in the past to wear pink to support October's Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but this is the first time the school, known for its variety of uniform combinations, will wear pink helmets.

The helmets also will help to raise money for the Kay Yow Cancer Fund, a charity that has raised $2.6 million for scientific research and programs associated with women's cancers. Its namesake, former North Carolina State women's basketball Kay Yow, succumbed to breast cancer in 2009.

Nike says 25 helmets will be auctioned over the course of the week beginning Saturday. To add to the value of the helmets, some will be autographed by Oregon legends, including former quarterbacks Dan Fouts and Joey Harrington, former wide receiver Ahmad Rashad and Nike's Knight.

"Cancer has touched so many lives and hopefully, together with Nike and the Kay Yow Cancer Fund, we can help create awareness and help raise money for the fight against women's cancers," Oregon coach Mark Helfrich said in a statement. "It is an honor to join coach Yow's team in a fight that unites us all."

Despite the seemingly good intentions, it hasn't been an all positive month for pink gear. The NFL has come under fire for the amount it donates to the American Cancer Society from sales of items with pink logos this month. The league says it donates what amounts to 11 percent of the retail price of a pink item to the American Cancer Society.

Although some think that's not enough, a league spokesman points out that that is equal to 90 percent of the royalty that the league receives on such items. Those that manufacture and sell these items at retail do not participate in giving to cancer-related causes.

Oregon is currently 6-0 and is ranked No. 2 in the country behind Alabama in both the Associated Press and USA Today coaches' polls.