Retired college basketball jerseys, or numbers, or jerseys and numbers, are suddenly in the news. The
There’s more; with the recent death of former Davidson all-American center Mike Maloy, a number of people have suggested that the school waive its graduation requirement for having a jersey retired. Maloy, called the Wildcats’ best player by former coach Lefty Driesell, never graduated but led the team to two NCAA Tournament regional finals.
That got us wondering. How many retired jerseys (numbers?) do each of our area schools have, anyway?
Before we jump in, remember that there is a difference between a retired jersey and a retired number. Time was, you retired a jersey and the number went with it. Now universities are getting away from that, because sooner or later — since numbers with digits above 5 aren’t allowed in basketball (officials signal fouls on players using their fingers to give the culprits’ numbers) — there is the possibility of running out of numbers.
The list follows; in parentheses are the total number of numbers — not jerseys — retired.
DUKE (13): The Blue Devils top all of our Division I schools with 13 numbers retired. They are, in chronological order by careers, Dick Groat (10), Art Heyman (25), Jeff Mullins (44), Mike Gminski (43), Johnny Dawkins (24), Danny Ferry (35), Christian Laettner (32), Bobby Hurley (11), Grant Hill (33), Shane Battier (31), Jason Williams (22), Shelden Williams (23) and J.J. Redick (4).
The Duke media guide says that while there is no “official” criteria to have a jersey retired, the player must achieve at a national level. Considering how often that happens in
Wake’s highest honorees are Dickie Hemrick (24), Len Chappell (50), Charlie Davis (12), Skip Brown (15), Rod Griffin (32), Muggsy Bogues (14), Rodney Rogers (54), Randolph Childress (22), Tim Duncan (21) and Josh Howard (5).
While seven of the Deacons have been ACC Players of the Year, the other three haven’t, and Wake seems to make its selections more by feel.
To be so honored, Niners must be graduates and meet a number of other criteria, including awards received, personal character and the success of the team.
Jerseys/numbers already hanging in the
Numerous other Tar Heels have had their jerseys honored, meaning that they get a spot in the Dean Dome but that their numbers stay in play.
DAVIDSON (5): The Wildcats don’t have different categories; those with their numbers/jerseys retired are Hobby Cobb (21), Fred Hetzel (44), Dick Snyder (10), John Gerdy (33) and Derek Rucker (11).
A primary requirement of being so honored is the player’s graduation, and that’s a stumbling block for three-time all-American Maloy (No. 15 above).
Qualifications for jersey retirement must include one of the following—be a university record holder, a consensus all-American, a consensus national player of the year or all-SEC first- or second team for three years.
There is a five-year waiting period and although graduation is not required, but the player must be in a position to graduate.
CLEMSON (2): The Tigers once retired jerseys, and Banks McFadden (23) and Tree Rollins (30) were so honored. But the school no longer does so; players can instead be placed in the Ring of Honor and one —Dale Davis, No. 34 — has been. To be in the ring, players must get their degrees and and make a significant contribution to the heritage of Clemson basketball. A committee decides who is worthy.
They are Dick Dickey, Sammy Ranzino, Bobby Speight, Ronnie Shavlick, Vic Modolet, Lou Pucillo, John Ritcher, Tommy Burleson, Kenny Carr, Vann Williford, Vinny Del Negro, Nate McMillan, Monte Towe, Thurl Bailey, Sidney Lowe, Dereck Whittenburg, Chris Corchiani, Rodney Monroe, Tom Gugliotta, Julius Hodge and Todd Fuller.
-- Stan Olson