Friday, November 12, 2004

We're Going to Run Out of Numbers

This just in, the University of Kansas is going to retire five (count 'em, 5) numbers in the KU basketball program this year. The players involved are Bill Bridges (32), Walter Wesley (13, same as Wilt), Dave Robisch (40), Bud Stallworth (15) and Darnell Valentine (14).

OK, probably not really retired. For one thing, there are only 60 possible numbers in college basketball, and if you keep retiring them, you're going to need a whole lot of new numbers. For another thing, Stallworth's number has already been retired twice, as Ray Evans and Jo Jo White. The criteria for retiring a jersey is

consensus first-team All-Americans, two-time first-team All-Americas and Academic All-American of the Year selections
or, in the case of Evans,
All-American in both football and basketball.

It's a bit much, people. I enjoyed watching Robisch and Stallworth play when I was in school, and I loved the way Valentine could handle the ball. But retire their jerseys? Uh, in a word, no. The only people who should have their jerseys retired are those who were the stars of National Championship teams. Which means Clyde Lovellette and Danny Manning. Add James Naismith, not that he wore a uniform, because he invented the game, and Phog Allen, because he invented coaching. I'll make an exception for Wilt, but nobody else.

And definitely not Roy. Maybe, some day, Bill Self. Maybe this year.


yoni cohen :: said...


Came across your blog today. Good stuff. Agree with your thoughts on who should -- and shouldn't -- have their jerseys retired at KU.

Noticed you were a college basketball fan. Hoping you could add a blogroll link to my College Basketball Blog, I'd very much appreciate a link on your site.

And would gladly return the favor, adding a link from my site to yours.


Yoni Cohen,
College Basketball Blog