Penn State is going old school this season or, rather, going back to it. On the university’s official athletics website, it was announced that the football program was once again adopting jerseys with no names on the back. The Nittany Lions placed the names on the backs of their jerseys starting in 2012, when then-head coach Bill O’Brien put them there as “recognition of the players’ resolve and dedication to the team and the University.”
Head coach James Franklin and others met with members of the team this morning to inform them of the decision to return to no-name jerseys, and Franklin posted this brief statement on the athletics website.
“For 125 years Penn State proudly followed a very simple idea: ‘Black Shoes. Basic Blues. No Names. All Game.’
“In 2012, for the first time in the program’s history, names adorned the back of the jersey to forever identify the men who stayed loyal, sacrificed and chose to play for this institution during the most difficult of times. The 2012 team, permanently recognized in Beaver Stadium, will hold an enduring place in our program’s history. Their commitment will never be forgotten.
“However, it’s time we bring back the tradition that represented Penn State for 125 years. We are a strong family, playing for one goal, one university and there is only one name that truly matters, Penn State.
If you ask this writer, it’s a great change. Like the legendary New York Yankees, Penn State football has plenty of history behind it, with a majority of its players never playing in jerseys with their names on the back. Returning to that type of jersey will give the uniform some serious panache, and one that the fans will embrace with open arms.
Penn State opens the 2015 season on the road against Temple, in a game to be played at Lincoln Financial Field.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports