We interrupt your opening week of Penn State football talk with some very important hoops news: In case you missed it yesterday, the Nittany Lion basketball team announced in a very creative social media post, that names will be returning to the back of their players’ jerseys for the first time in nearly 20 years.
For a period of about ten years, from the mid-1990’s to the mid-2000’s, PSU players rocked names on the back of their jerseys, a practice that appeared to begin towards the end of the Bruce Parkhill era all the way though Jerry Dunn’s tenure, and the first couple of seasons with Ed DeChellis running the show. It was under DeChellis that the names were removed from the back of the jerseys in an attempt to mimic the football program and perhaps bring some of the good juju that came from Beaver Stadium across the street to the Bryce Jordan Center.
Neither Pat Chambers nor Micah Shrewsberry even publicly entertained the idea of putting the names back on the jerseys, but then again, neither of those coaches had Joe Crispin for an assistant, like current head coach Mike Rhoades does. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was an idea that Crispin himself floated, in an effort to bring back some good vibes from the time he helped lead PSU on its magical Sweet 16 run in 2001.
Furthermore, the fact that PSU has an almost entirely different roster from last season makes such a move look very timely, indeed. Perhaps some of the older heads may not like it, but I for one, wholly embrace it.