The NCAA likes to make consumers believe that when you go to a local retail store and pick up a jersey of your favorite team, the number on that jersey coincidentally matches the best player on the team.
That wasn’t done on purpose or anything – no, never.
The fact that you could buy a #2 Texas A&M jersey had nothing to do with the fact that Johnny Manziel wore the same number, right?
Well, it seems that tradition is coming to an end – at least at a few schools as the aforementioned A&M, Northwestern and Arizona have decided to only sell generic jerseys this season according to ESPN.
Worried about the ramifications of selling the numbers tied to student-athletes, several schools have decided not to sell football jerseys with star players’ digits on them this upcoming season, sources tell ESPN.
Three schools — Texas A&M, Arizona and Northwestern – will offer more generic jerseys this season.
It’s something that many schools are likely to follow as nobody wants to deal with the potential legal ramifications.
So what are the Aggies and the Wildcats to do with their new threads? According to NFL.com, they’ll pay tribute to their universities.
The No. 12 jersey will be the only one Texas A&M makes available at retail stores this year, according to the report, an homage to the popular 12th Man tradition at the school. Arizona will only sell No. 14 in a nod to the 2014 season while Northwestern will only sell head coach Pat Fitzgerald’s old number (51).
Might be a little odd to see so many wearing a generic jersey, but, it’s the smart move by the schools.