Skip to main content

Jim Brown didn't endorse Syracuse unretiring No. 44

Controversy often begets even more controversy, and that seems to be the case for Syracuse.

The school recently announced that the Orange's famous No. 44 could return to the football field after being absent for nearly two decades. The move has alumni and supporters in a fit given the number's history, and it didn't take long before the man most closely associated with the jersey number decided to weigh in on the matter.

"I didn't exactly give them my blessings. I just didn't complain," Pro Football Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown said on "The Rich Eisen Show" on Thursday. "I didn't talk to anyone before they decided to do it, so they couldn't have my blessings."

Brown and fellow Syracuse tailbacks Ernie Davis and Floyd Little all wore the number during their time in the program, and all three eventually made it to the College Football Hall of Fame (Brown and Little are also enshrined in Canton). The number was officially retired in 2005, but has not been worn since 1998.

The school reportedly received the cooperation of Little in unretiring the number, but not asking Brown is a huge swing and a miss. Credit the famous running back for taking things in stride, but his comments on Thursday don't exactly make him sound like a happy camper about the ordeal.

Syracuse has repeated that only "someone extraordinary" would be allowed to wear the No. 44, but reading between the lines of what Brown is saying, that better be far off into the distant future.

You can follow Bryan Fischer on Twitter at @BryanDFischer.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content