There has been both misunderstanding and outcry about Syracuse “un-retiring” the number 44, which of course was worn by legends Jim Brown, Ernie Davis and Floyd Little. But Syracuse is now confirming that the number is indeed retired. Well, sort of.
This was the initial Tweet that Syracuse athletics put out on Tuesday:
It's back pic.twitter.com/gZAXOztdwd
— Syracuse Football (@CuseFootball) May 19, 2015
After that Tweet went out, several alumni, including the great Donovan McNabb, treated this as blasphemy. And suffice to say, there was major public outcry. Heck, the guys on ESPN’s PIT even debated about it.
There was confusion that the number was up for grabs and can be worn on a normal basis by future players, but Syracuse helped clarify some misconceptions.
More from Chris Carlson at Syracuse.com:
“[Tuesday’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,” said Syracuse Senior Vice President for Public Affairs Kevin Quinn in an email to Syracuse.com.
“The retired #44 jersey will continue in its place of honor at Dome — as a symbol of past glories and future successes.”
Quinn also said in the email that it would take a “special circumstance” to bring the number back, and that it would take “someone extraordinary given the honor it would be to wear 44.”
The No.44 was officially retired in 2005 and was last worn by Rob Konrad in 1998.