The Confidential’s Take on Restore 44
There is much debate on the blogosphere about whether Syracuse should restore #44. Many folks think it should be restored for recruiting, while others advocate giving it to a deserving running back upperclassman. And then there are others who agree with the decision to retire the number entirely, further noting that high-prestige recruits that might have worn the number and failed miserably. The Confidential proposes a different system, such as that used by Ole Miss with its Chucky Mullins Courage Award. Each year, Ole Miss awards #38 to a deserving player:
The award, sponsored by Phi Beta Sigma fraternity, honors the late Chucky Mullins, who had his Ole Miss career come to an end during the 1989 Homecoming game against Vanderbilt when he was paralyzed after making a tackle. After returning to his studies at Ole Miss, Mullins passed away May 6, 1991.
This is a GREAT system for allowing #38 to remain on the field for Ole Miss, while providing ample honor for Mullins. There is no reason why Syracuse could not do the same for #44.
Specifically, Syracuse coaches could decide which Senior would wear #44 during his final season. In theory, coaches could split the award among two deserving recipients. Consider who would have been good candidates in recent years based on on-field performance and off-field conduct (excluding QBs, who might fall into a #5 category). Some great seniors, such as Antwon Bailey, Cameron Lynch, Jerome Smith, and Dyshawn Davis might have very deserving of a season with #44.
Is that NOT a better tradition to start? Give #44 to someone who has proven to deserve it over 3-4 years. To the Confidential, this is the better system…