PHOTO: Eastern Michigan unveils gray turf design for 'The Factory'

Eastern Michigan joins Boise State in the alternative turf color club. (EMU Athletics)
Eastern Michigan will join Boise State in the alternative turf color club. (EMU Athletics)

Eastern Michigan unveiled its new turf design on Thursday; an all-gray look that pays tribute to Chris Creighton new moniker for Rynearson Stadium, "The Factory." 

With plans in place to invest in new FieldTurf technology, EMU has decided to join Boise State (blue), Eastern Washington (red) and others as schools to stray from the traditional green field. 

"We didn’t do it for the novelty of it, because it’s been done," athletic director Heather Lyke said Thursday. "We did it because it makes sense for us and we really believe that this is a place that produces champions."

The Eagles will kick off year one of the Chris Creighton era on the gray field against Morgan State on Aug. 30. Creighton is taking over a program that won just seven conference games in five seasons under former coach Ron English. English was fired just before EMU's home game against Western Michigan; a game the Eagles would go on to win in overtime, 35-32."

According to the Detroit Free Press, Creighton developed the nickname for "The Factory during some team workouts in the February snow.

“We were going to do one of our agility workouts in the bubble and we started ribbing the guys that, when we played, we’d be outside,” he said.

“The message during that workout was, ‘We will play anyone, we will play anytime and we will play anywhere. We will play in a parking lot.’”

And this upcoming season, the Eagles will play on a surface that looks like a parking lot.

"Fired up," offensive lineman Lincoln Hansen said. "I could not believe that we are going to be lucky enough to play on a gray field. It's completely unique." 

Check out more reactions in the video below, courtesy of EMU athletics. 

CBS Sports Writer

Chip Patterson has spent his young career covering college sports from the Old North State. He's been writing and talking about football and basketball for CBS Sports since 2010. You may have heard him... Full Bio

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