You truly will have to consult your program — or online roster — to identify Penn State players in 2015.
In a press release, Penn State announced Thursday morning that it will remove the names of players from the backs of their jerseys for the 2015 season and beyond. According to the release, “[t]he decision to remove the names from the jerseys was made to pay homage to the history of Penn State football and return to the tradition that represented Penn State for 125 years.”
From the program’s first year in 1887 through the 2011 season, the backs of the Nittany Lions’ jersey were nameless. In 2012, under the man who replaced Joe Paterno, Bill O’Brien, names were added to the backs of the jerseys to recognize those individuals who stuck with the program through the Jerry Sandusky scandal and subsequent NCAA sanctions.
In a statement, head coach James Franklin said that while that 2012 team “will hold an enduring place in our program’s history… it’s time we bring back the tradition that represented Penn State for 125 years.” Below is Franklin’s full statement:
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 & 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.