WATCH: Past Penn Staters talk going back to nameless jerseys
Penn State announced Thursday morning it will renew a tradition by removing names from the back of its football jerseys.
In a statement released by the athletics department, Nittany Lions head coach James Franklin acknowledged why the school broke from tradition in 2012 (two years before he joined the program) and explained the reason for this change.
"For 125 years Penn State proudly followed a very simple idea: ‘Black Shoes. Basic Blues. No Names. All Game,’" Franklin said. "In 2012, for the first time in the program’s history, names adorned the back of the jersey to forever identify the men who stayed loyal, sacrificed & chose to play for this institution during the most difficult of times. The 2012 team, permanently recognized in Beaver Stadium, will hold an enduring place in our program’s history. Their commitment will never be forgotten.
"However, it’s time we bring back the tradition that represented Penn State for 125 years. We are a strong family, playing for one goal, one university and there is only one name that truly matters, Penn State."
The department of athletics also put out a video featuring past players talking about why the move is important to them.
The 2012 team went 8-4 despite being hit with crippling sanctions connected to the conduct of some university officials who learned of misocnduct by former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky, who was convicted of 45 counts of sexual abuse of young boys that June.
Because the football program was hit with a four-year postseason ban (later reduced), any member of the team was able to transfer without having to sit out a year, but the majority of the team opted to stay.