On Monday IU Athletics announced that player names will be returning to the back of the school’s football jerseys after a season in which they were removed to become uniform with the rest of the department’s garb.
That experiment—nameless football jerseys—went about as well as expected. Fans weren’t happy about it from the get-go and it has officially been declared dead.
”After listening to feedback from a variety of sources, particularly from our fans, I believe it is the right decision to return to an exception for football to our tradition of not having players’ names on our uniforms,” IU Vice President and Director of Athletics Fred Glass said. “I have come to understand that, taken together, the unique qualities of football including the size of the competition venue, the distance most of our fans from the field of play, the large number of players, and the use of duplicate numbers, as a practical matter call for the return of the players’ names to our football uniforms not withstanding our continuing philosophy of team over self.”
This announcement allows the football team to depart from at least one aspect of the university’s brand and uniform guidelines that were instituted in 2018 which is good considering that, as Glass stated, there are qualities about football that make it unique compared to every other sport on campus. This is a move that will only benefit fans and others while allowing the IU athletic department to correct its misstep from last year.