Some accounts have Bo Schembechler distributing stacks of newspapers with instructions for his assistants to cover the walls of Iowa's visiting team locker room.
Others attest Schembechler used butcher's paper to shield his players from the walls, slathered in a color dubbed "innocence pink." Either way, the legendary Michigan coach hated the locker room and the psychological effects it had on his players.
When the No. 3 Nittany Lions travel to Iowa City to play the Hawkeyes Saturday, before they take the field, they will have to contend with the dreaded pink room -- which has grown pinker since Penn State last played at Iowa in 2003.
As part of a 2005 renovation project to Kinnick Stadium, Iowa officials outfitted the locker room with pink urinals, sinks and shower curtains.
Former Iowa Hawkeye coach Hayden Fry was a psychology major and had the room painted pink with hopes it would cause an opponent to lose focus. Fry believed the pink would have a calming effect on opponents and they would be more tranquil for a game.
Senior Penn State offensive tackle Gerald Cadogan also has a psychology degree. Cadogan said Tuesday that "pink is a color normally associated with feminine characteristics" and Iowa's goal is to intimidate opponents by making them feel soft.
Cadogan also said the pink will only effect him and his teammates if they let it.
"Whether the locker room was pink, purple, melon, fuchsia it doesn't matter," Cadogan said. "There's other variables in place. Your adrenaline, your focus, your playing the game. How much are you focused on that stimulus of the pink locker room?"
Schembechler's Michigan squads were 2-2-1 when playing at Iowa. One of those losses came in 1985, when the Wolverines were 5-0. Schembechler's team left the pink locker room cold and was shut out 26-0 by Fry's Hawkeyes.
Current Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz, who took over after Fry in 1999, said he's never seen any proof that the pink locker room affects opponents. Ferentz even went as far as to say the locker room helps opposing teams more than it hurts them.
"It's way too nice of a locker room from my vantage point," Ferentz said. "It's a very spacious, very nice accommodation for a visiting team and it's probably one of the better visiting locker rooms in the Big Ten. I can only speak from experience. We've traveled and stayed in some pretty lousy locker rooms around the conference."
Ferentz admitted the locker room isn't easy on the eyes.
"It's very nice," Ferentz said. "It's just ugly because of the colors."
Junior Penn State linebacker Josh Hull chuckled when asked about the locker room on Wednesday. Hull insisted he's not concerned about all the pink.
"Our main intent is to go out there and win a football game regardless of the color of the locker room," Hull said.
Some Lions, will be focused on the room, however.
Senior wide receiver Deon Butler and sophomore defensive tackle Ollie Ogbu said they were looking forward to seeing the pink locker room for the first time.
Ogbu said he "can't wait" to see the pink room, and said its effects could backfire on the Hawkeyes.
"Some teams get mad, some teams get psyched up," Ogbu said. "The first thing I said was 'Wow. I can't wait to play in a pink locker room'... We might get a little kick or laugh out of it before the game. Maybe they'll have us laughing hard or have us all happy for the game."