Penn State jerseys back to tradition
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All of the sanctions have been lifted. For Penn State, 2015 represents something of a fresh start.
Now, one of the symbols of the past three years on the field is gone.
Nittany Lions coach James Franklin announced Thursday that Penn State would once again be donning jerseys with no names on the back for the coming season and beyond. The Lions had used nameplates from 2012 14 when former coach Bill O wanted to recognize players who stuck with Penn State in the face of those sanctions.
Joined by 10 lettermen who live in the area, Franklin delivered the news to his players in the squad room this morning.
125 years, Penn State proudly followed a very simple idea, Franklin said in a statement. Shoes. Basic Blues. No Names. All Game.
2012, for the first time in the program 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 history. Their commitment will never be forgotten.
it 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. players Jack Ham, Bob White and Todd Rucci were among the group that also got up front and discussed what the old tradition meant to them.
Afterward, they posed for pictures with the six current players who remain on the roster from 2011, the last time the Lions played a season without nameplates TE Kyle Carter, LB Ben Kline, C Angelo Mangiro, DE Carl Nassib, WR Matt Zanellato and DT Anthony Zettel.
Mangiro spoke for the group on Thursday and wrote down his thoughts on bringing back the old tradition.
## ## Coach O came and put names on the uniforms to honor the players that stayed, I was extremely moved, Mangiro said. understood the history that surrounded our program and the basic whites and blues.
was thankful for Coach O to make that tough decision, and I felt that it was very appropriate at that time. But, that was then and this is now. We honored those who have stayed. We have had our time to be honored. I felt the name on the back of my jersey was to honor the players and for my mother in the stands. But I have always played for the logo on the front.
Coach Franklin, it is time for us to get back to our traditions and put everything behind us. the lettermen in attendance for the announcement, one was a member of the coaching staff.
Former Lions wide receiver Terry Smith, brought aboard by Franklin back in 2014 as defensive backs coach, has tried to add perspective from both the old and the new.
last three years were special and needed to have the names on the jerseys, Smith told reporters in State College. we got to get back to some core values as to who Penn State football really is and what a historic moment today is for us.
can tell you how many text messages and phone calls I gotten today from former players and lettermen just ecstatic. Lions had actually removed the names for one game last season, opting for for the Homecoming game against Northwestern.
At the time, Franklin said it was just for that day and he remained largely noncommittal about any changes to the uniforms throughout his first year on the job.
just thought year one wasn the right time to make this decision, Franklin explained before Smith spoke in the evening. had been so much change and so much turnover in a short period of time. It was just one more thing I didn feel ready or prepared to deal with at that time.
think what Bill did was the right thing at the right time. And I think this is the right thing to do at the right time again moving forward. a day earlier, players had worn jerseys with names on them during a visit to Hershey Children Hospital. A handful of just arrived freshmen had also begun sharing photos of jerseys with their names this week.
On Thursday evening, players sported the traditional look while handing out 2015 schedule posters that trumpeted the jerseys to fans around State College.