Syracuse VP: 44 Only To Be Worn in Special Circumstance

Those who cried foul over the idea of Syracuse University un-retiring jersey number 44 can breath a little easier.

Per a report from Chris Carlson of, the university’s Senior VP of Public Affairs, Kevin Quinn, has stated in an email that the number will only be worn in a “special circumstance” and that it will be reserved for “someone extraordinary given the honor it would be to wear 44.”

The same view was reiterated by onetime chief of communications of Syracuse’s athletic department, Joe Giansante.

“Yesterday’s announcement was simply a reiteration of that commitment and another opportunity to celebrate the great accomplishments of those who have worn the number with Syracuse pride and honor,” Quinn wrote. “The retired #44 jersey will continue in its place of honor at Dome — as a symbol of past glories and future successes.”

Syracuse retired the number back in 2005 to honor former star running back Jim Brown, but also running back Ernie Davis, who helped lead the school to a national title in 1959 and won the Heisman Trophy in 1961 before tragically dying of leukemia at age 23, just two years later. A movie about his life, The Express, was released in 2008 and featured actor Rob Brown as Davis and Dennis Quaid as former Orange coach Ben Schwartzwalder.

Now, it appears as though the number will stay retired after the decision to restore it was heavily criticized, particularly by former Syracuse star Donovan McNabb. That said, unless another great athlete comes through Syracuse’s program, expect number 44 to stay up in the rafters of the Carrier Dome.

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*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports

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