Penn State Football: Nittany Lions to Remove Names from Jerseys

Justin FergusonCFB National AnalystJuly 16, 2015

Penn State football played stand in the tunnel waiting to take the field at Beaver Stadium before an NCAA college football game against Michigan State  in State College, Pa., Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014. Michigan State  won 34-10, giving Franklin a 6-6 record in his first season as Penn State head football coach. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

Three seasons after making a rare change to its uniforms, Penn State is going back to a classic look it has sported for 125 seasons.

On Thursday, Penn State announced it would remove last names from the back of player jerseys, a change it made under former head coach Bill O'Brien in 2012.

The Nittany Lions added the names prior to the 2012 season "in recognition of the players' resolve and dedication to the team and the University" in the aftermath of the Jerry Sandusky scandal.

Current Penn State head coach James Franklin and a few former Penn State players announced the change Thursday morning, which was made to "pay homage to the history of Penn State football and return to the tradition that represented Penn State for 125 years."

Franklin, who went 7-6 last season in his first year with Penn State, released a statement on the removal of the last names:

For 125 years Penn State proudly followed a very simple idea: "Black Shoes. Basic Blues. No Names. All Game."

In 2012, for the first time in the program's history, names adorned the back of the jersey to forever identify the men who stayed loyal, sacrificed & chose to play for this institution during the most difficult of times. The 2012 team, permanently recognized in Beaver Stadium, will hold an enduring place in our program's history. Their commitment will never be forgotten.

However, it's time we bring back the tradition that represented Penn State for 125 years. We are a strong family, playing for one goal, one university and there is only one name that truly matters, Penn State.

We Are. 

Penn State's new schedule poster, which was unveiled Thursday, includes the motto "Black Shoes. Basic Blues. No Names. All Game." Members of Penn State's 2015 team are scheduled to distribute the posters in State College on Thursday night.

Several former and current Penn State players took to Twitter to show their support of the switch back to nameless jerseys, including former Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year Michael Robinson.

Penn State went 22-15 during the three seasons it had with last names on the back of the players' jerseys.

The Nittany Lions will return to the no-name look Sept. 5 in a road game against Temple at Philadelphia's Lincoln Financial Field.

 

Justin Ferguson is an on-call college football writer at Bleacher Report. You can follow him on Twitter @JFergusonBR.