Syracuse did a really cool, awesome thing yesterday. They brought the number 44 back into the rotation for Orange football players, and as a result, they made the SU corner of the internet very happy.
Then former star QB and current board of trustees member Donovan McNabb got mad about it.
(That's Syracuse Athletics PR blunder's music!)
Unhappy with fans being happy or positive about the program for any extended amount of time, Syracuse went and confused the entire thing by Wednesday afternoon. The statement the school made to (Syracuse.com's) Chris Carlson, via email:
"Yesterday's announcement was simply a reiteration of that commitment and another opportunity to celebrate the great accomplishments of those who have worn the number with Syracuse pride and honor. The retired #44 jersey will continue in its place of honor at Dome — as a symbol of past glories and future successes."
Adding to the above, SVP for Public Affairs Kevin Quinn said that the No. 44 will continue to be worn in a "special circumstance," and that it would take "someone extraordinary given the honor it would be to wear 44."
What the ever-loving f&%k?
I mean, THIS happened yesterday, right? (yes, it did)
It's back pic.twitter.com/gZAXOztdwd— Syracuse Football (@CuseFootball) May 19, 2015
So all of this is incredibly confusing for those of us that care -- and as a result, even more confusing for everyone outside of the SU community that doesn't, really. Continuing the parade of nonsensical statements that cloud what was a pretty straight-forward decision, this also, from Quinn:
"Former Director of Athletics Dr. Daryl Gross, who retired the number in 2005, had established a committee to oversee the number. The committee which continues to exist, can in very special situations permit a student-athlete to wear the #44. As was reiterated by the Athletics Department in 2013, restoring the number would only be done in a 'special circumstance' for 'someone extraordinary given the honor it would be to wear 44.' To be clear, this is a high bar for any current or future student-athlete to reach."
And based on this statement from Floyd Little in 2013: DOUBLE-WHAT?!
Honestly, I don't know what to think anymore. Was yesterday an un-retirement or not? Was it back in "circulation" as of 2013 or not? Was it ever retired? Will anyone ever wear it again?
All of these questions should not exist about 28 hours following the most exciting thing to happen to Orange football in over a decade. Instead, Syracuse University -- as much as I (and you) love her for various reasons -- went and made the whole thing ambiguous with an unnecessary PR statement that should've stayed saved in the draft folder. We thought stuff like this would stop happening once DOCTOR Gross left the building. Yet, we're still here. Getting confused and angry and annoyed that the school can't just allow us to be happy. JUST ONCE.
Vent your issues below. I have no idea what this means beyond being a gross (pun intended) over-reaction to McNabb's statements from yesterday. And that's not okay, SU.