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Syracuse Football: Does "Plaza 44" Groundbreaking Ceremony Mean Restoring 44?

This could be something... or could be nothing.

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The number 44 has been on Syracuse's fans minds a whole lot lately. Whether with regard to DOCTOR Gross's legacy or Robert Washington's hopeful arrival on campus with the recruiting class of 2016, Orange fans want to know if/when we finally #Restore44.

Could that day possibly be tomorrow?

Nothing's confirmed, but Syracuse football media received the following from the Orange athletic department this afternoon:

Syracuse University Athletics will hold a Plaza 44 Groundbreaking Ceremony on Tuesday, May 19 at 3 pm outside of the Ensley Athletic Center. Plaza 44 will honor the great tradition of Syracuse football running backs to wear the #44 – the three who defined the number – Jim Brown, Ernie Davis and Floyd Little.

It's vague, but there's something encouraging in there too, no? We've always honored those running backs and all who've worn the number 44 before. What makes tomorrow's groundbreaking so... groundbreaking?

Either a) it's not, other than a cool way to pay tribute to three great players and important people in the history of Syracuse athletics. OR b) they're totally un-retiring 44 tomorrow.

Given the state of things with the athletic department right now (no permanent AD, its worst overall academic year in quite some time, and those sanctions...), it would be fitting to have a subtle ceremony to both honor Brown, Davis and Little, as well as un-retire the number they made it famous. The fanfare and circus atmosphere of the DOC Gross era is very much gone, otherwise this would've been planned weeks ago and no expense would've been spared to celebrate its return. The timing makes sense now that we're closing in on college sports' offseason, and it would please both sides of the 44 crowd to bring it out of retirement and THEN give it to Washington.


Or... it's not getting un-retired, and this is really just a groundbreaking for the Plaza 44 -- something that could very well be the case, as evidenced by the message sent from the athletic department themselves.

Either way, we'll know by 3 p.m. ET tomorrow afternoon.