Names to return to IU football jerseys in 2019

Player surnames will return to Indiana’s football jerseys this fall.

A year after stripping names off the backs of the uniforms to conform to IU’s new brand and uniform guidelines, athletic director Fred Glass announced Monday that the department has once again made an exception for the football program.

Football will again become the only IU athletic program to include player names on the jerseys beginning with the 2019-20 academic year.

“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,” Glass said in a statement. “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.”

The removal of the nameplates upset a faction of IU’s fan base when the decision was first announced last August. Player identification seemed to be a significant part of the issue for some fans, understandably so. Last season, IU gave out 28 duplicate numbers.

The decision also bothered at least a few former IU players, who expressed their concern on social media shortly after the policy was made public.

“Wow, I’m definitely not good with this choice,” former defensive lineman Nolan Harrison tweeted in August. “Having your name on the back of your jersey is a special thing. You become a source of pride of your family, community, and many times a whole future generation! This might actually hurt recruiting.”

Former cornerback Rashard Fant agreed, saying an important part of the college experience was being able to represent his family.

“I will just say that for kids coming to college, one of the greatest feelings is being able to represent your family out on that field along with your team,” Fant tweeted in August. “Especially for guys who are first generation college students or first to play a college sport in their family…that’s all.”

With Monday’s announcement, Indiana has admitted its mistake — and taken the swift action required to fix it.

26 comments

  1. Good decision to rectify a stupid mistake. The names need to be on the back of the jersey for the reasons expressed by Nolan Harrison and Fant. The young men work very hard and they deserve to get some recognition for being on the team. And the former policy certainly did not help football recruiting.

  2. We’ll now know the name and number of a failed connection when Ramsey dials one up long distance. No extra line charges scoring drives will be incurred for this caller ID service.

  3. Doesnt matter either way to me Notre Dame doesnt use names neither does USC doesnt hurt them in recruiting the reasoning was kind of silly but I mean a name plate aint gonna help you win games,they won 5 games with the names in 2017 and 5 games without last year so is it that deep? not really

  4. Bill Mallory play with locked jaw, San Wyche slanted IU logo forward, Cameron painted helmets black, Gerry Denardo tried to make players run fast to be on team (son arrested drugs 2014), Kevin Wilson tried to be mean or arrogant; sure could use Thomas Edison to invent for IU on how to win a football game that would mean something.

  5. I know the comparisons to the schools which do not put the players on the jerseys. Quite frankly, at this point by it’s history, IUFB has not earned the right to consider the program strong enough to do so.

    1. Oops, omitted ” players names” on the jerseys. Kinda like the program in a way, imagine that.

    2. If only the stadium and the field were nameless….then maybe the fans could get proper directions to Bloomington and put their nameless butts in some nameless seats.

      The only one at Memorial deserving a jersey with no name is Don Fischer. He’s watched enough disastrous seasons at Memorial to turn the most hopeful of hearts into shoe leather.

  6. positive change for IU fans and indirectly opponent fans…also while the game is in progress the bulk of the team is on the sideline with their backs to us displaying the # and name of each for us to become familiar with each game and maybe by their 2nd or 3rd year we fans hold a mental note who #27 or #61 are w/o needing a program…

    1. Agreed. I think it is a plus for fans. It’s not like you can differentiate other than by number and size.

  7. Yea, like recruiting for IU is just like recruiting for two of the most successful football programs in history, USC and ND. Please tell us you were being sarcastic.

    1. Most of the fans at USC and ND could tell you the bench press of the incoming freshman. They knew their names before they ever hit campus.

      There have been 5th year seniors at IU that no one knows anything about.

  8. It shows that Fred Glass is willing to admit to a mistake and take action to correct the mistake. It really didn’t matter to me either way but it helps fans and announcers.

  9. If Glass had anything approaching “team over self,” he’d stayed a country mile away from Crean’s versions of basketball and recruiting. What in the hell wasn’t he noticing in the last ten years…? It was all about self-made NBA projects and self-development..and self-measurements of ‘wing spans’…and self-designations of “upsides”…and self Draft Night…and improving Crean’s resume(in terms of Galileo finding his distant unnoticed future NBA stars) for himself. It was an era we the furthest away from team basketball in our history. The ‘no names’ on the jersey was an illusion of the most self-centered decade in Hoosier Basketball history. He furthered the endeavor by naming a playroom after the names not on the jerseys.

    Ten years forward and we finally have Archie Miller: a competent basketball coach teaching defense and team basketball. Ten years is a long time to finally get it right (put forever to bed the Crean “apologists” who could not admit to a version of basketball so void of quality “team” teachings) and reject the self-centered style of muck hoops so removed from the spirit of the candy stripes.
    And such “spirit” has never been rooted in IU Football because there has never been any traditions, lore, figurehead, truly iconic coach…or sustained history of winning to form foundations worth meaning a hill of beans. The “traditions” are all taken from the basketball program …including the godawful candy striped motorcycle helmets used to make football weaklings appear as Evil Knievels of the BigTen. Please stop, Fred Flintstone. Stop acting like you honor the spirit of Indiana. You honor ideologies and fraudulent forms of all things sold on silver reunion parties and gimmicky slogans.

  10. All is only indirectly relevant at best. As with overwhelmingly majority of elites it is not directly relevant. What is relevant is that he and they live the good life with a smile on his and their faces.

  11. Regarding football. Simple: win a meaningful football game.
    WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME IU HAS WON A MEANINGFUL FOOTBALL GAME?
    A TRUE MEANINGFUL FOOTBALL GAME?
    NOT A LITTLE BIT OF A MEANINGFUL FOOTBALL GAME BUT ONE ON NATIONAL STAGE OR WAS SIGNIFICANT NATIONALLY?

  12. Agree, t. Sadly, it’s becoming that way with the basketball program as well. Defeating a very average OSU team in the BigTen tournament was a rather low level “meaningful” game and we know how that ended.
    No “meaningful” run in the NCAA tournament while 11 Midwestern programs not named Indiana have gone to a collective 28 Elite Eights and 17 Final Fours over the last nine years.
    No name jersey? No name programs(as in football and basketball) is more like it…..And the bar keeps getting lower and lower to define success for both programs. Soon we’ll raise a banner for getting an NCAA invitation. …or maybe name a billiards room after the legendary coach of the 21st century to get us to a Sweet 16.
    The instant information age in which we feed where instant broadcast, instant tweet, instant press release dropped everywhere and anywhere as if it’s free ‘notoriety’ candy on the streets allows for gloating public assertions of progress and meaningless distractions to serve as the piles of quick sugar fixes to replace the once substantive meals of worthy goals and true landmark accomplishments. The more candy on the street from the AD/coach/leaders, the more you know the fine nutritional dinners of deep tournament runs or wins against quality football programs is moving further and further away to a very, very distant day.

    If things ever get truly quiet(meaning no new slogans, t-shirt mantras, billboard campaigns, helmet changes, uniform alterations, renaming of buildings, reunion announcements, banner anniversary dinners, momentous occasions of our return to greatness because of a Bob Knight sighting on a golf cart) , then you’ll actually know some progress might actaully be cooking in the busy 5-star kitchen.
    Until then, it’s just more of the same candy thrown to the streets…..

  13. I think the players should decide. They’re the ones bashing their brains in for our entertainment. What’s the price of long-term cognitive damage? If they want to go out on the field wearing pink rubber suits under gladiator outfits, they should be able to do so.

  14. Just wondering if anyone else say were the oft mention Tommy Stevens of PSU has entered his name into the transfer portal?

  15. Karma. One name kicked around yes that’s right the Indiana Hoosiers. For Hoosiers sake it should only be from his side. Hoosiers shouldn’t even consider Stevens for defensive tackle and stay away from Stevens with 0 thought or consideration. Penn State/Franklin con job and Stevens and dad seem to be a head case. What were they thinking anyway? Stevens could have a legitimate opportunity at IU after high school. Stevens was only a 3 star qb at 78 in high school. It was another example as soon as someone higher level football school came calling Stevens decommitted from IU buying into Franklin con job.

    1. Yup, and there’s a big lesson for all the HS players out there. It is not about the name of the school, but are you going to get a chance to play and develop. Kind of like would you rather be the big fish in a small pond or just another fish in a lake.

  16. I assume Stevens doesn’t end up at IU …because of the character of TA with a comment that we are developing young men and second chance opportunity.

  17. It’s ok to be just another fish in the big lake if one understands then and thereafter; when you don’t become that relevant that you are ok with it depending on what your goals are.
    Other examples of recent Indiana hs qbs; Brandon Peters/Avon to Michigan though he went there from HS. Hunter Johnson to Clemson from high school nicely corrected himself early to Northwestern.
    It is ok to have confidence and to go big time if one truly understands the balance of positive vs negative consequences and are good with them. However, some of these players and families need to be less dismissive of schools like IU. This could be a very big strength for Tom Allen as he continues to get entrenched at IU. Similar to Barry Alvarez at Wisky and Pat Fitzgerald at Northwestern.

    1. Once the wins start to add up, IU will be more desirable to players and their families. It’s been a long wait but it’s happening. As always….#trusttheprocess

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