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Syracuse’s 44 Flip-Flop

Syracuse changes it’s mind on 44 after two days. What does that say about the athletic department.

Two days ago, Syracuse “Restored 44” and it seemed like the status of the 44 jersey changed and the number would be back in circulation. Many fans liked this change, but there were opponents. Namely, Donovan McNabb.

Now, if McNabb were just a former player his comments may not carry much weight. Even if he were the player of his caliber. But McNabb isn’t just a player. He is a Board of Trustee member. Is it possible that his critique of the 44 jersey use changed the University’s position? Yes, but maybe unlikely.

So why would a decision that was clearly announced as: Players will be able to wear #44 again. Get changed now to: We didn’t really mean it, and “extraordinary talent” has been able to wear the number the whole time.

I’m not quite sure, and the hypocrisy is pretty worrying. I know at the end of the day it is just a number that we are talking about, but the fact that the athletic department folds so quickly to public pressure AND tries to say that what they announced two days ago wasn’t really what they announced… that’s troubling.

Of course, the athletic department is in a state of distress with an interim Athletic Director running the ship. But all the other people working in the athletic department are the same people who worked there day-to-day before Gross resigned, and likely are some of the same people who will be working there when a new Athletic Director is hired.

Remember how many people were excited that 44 was put back into circulation on Tuesday? Something we (and others) said was basically righting a wrong decision that Daryl made a decade ago. Why go back because there is a small dissenting group? No decision is going to be 100% praise. If people don’t like the new Athletic Director, will the school go back two days later and hire a new one? Don’t think so, but on a smaller scale, that’s basically what SU did here.


Posted By: Seth Goldberg

The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.


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