Penn State returning to nameless jerseys ahead of 2015 season
From 1887 through the 2011 season, no names appeared on the backs of jerseys.
But for the past three seasons, names appeared on jerseys after former coach Bill O'Brien decided to recognize the players’ dedication to the team and the university.
That decision came after former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky was accused of sexual misconduct with young boys over a 15-year period. Sandusky was eventually convicted on 45 counts of sexual absue in 2012 and sentenced to 30 to 60 years in jail.
The team wore no-name jerseys for one game last season, a homecoming loss to Northwestern in September.
The school said that head coach James Franklin and several Penn State football letterwinners met with the team to inform them of the decision.
“For 125 years Penn State proudly followed a very simple idea: "Black Shoes. Basic Blues. No Names. All Game,” Franklin said.
He said members of the 2012 team will always be remembered because they stayed “loyal, sacrificed & chose to play for this institution during the most difficult of times” and “secured an enduring place in our program's history.”
“Their commitment will never be forgotten,” Franklin added. “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.”
The Nittany Lions finished 7-6 last season, including a 31-30 victory over Boston College in the Pinstripe Bowl. It was the program’s first bowl appearance since 2012 after the NCAA lifted some sanctions stemming from the Sandusky scandal.
Penn State opens the 2015 season against Temple at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia on Sept. 5.
- Scooby Axson