SBD/June 13, 2012/Colleges

Legends Of The Fall: Univ. Of Michigan To Honor Three More Former Football Players

Gerald Ford's family gave UM permission for players to wear his No. 48 jersey
The Univ. of Michigan's plan to honor legendary football players "by having current players wear their jerseys will continue this season," with three more former players joining Desmond Howard in the honor, according to Mark Snyder of the DETROIT FREE PRESS. The numbers for former President Gerald Ford (48), Bennie Oosterbaan (47) and Ron Kramer (87) all have been retired, but the families gave UM the "blessing to reintroduce them in memory of the deceased legends." It is unknown which players will wear the jerseys, which will have the "same upper left chest area patch that was affixed to the No. 21 jersey" worn by WR Junior Hemingway last year. Oosterbaan will be honored at UM's Sept. 8 game, Kramer on Sept. 15 and Ford Oct. 13 (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 6/13). In Detroit, Angelique Chengalis reports Ford, Kramer and Oosterbaan will be featured in UM's Schembechler Hall, and the "lockers to be used by No. 47, No. 48 and No. 87 in both the Schembechler Hall and Michigan Stadium locker rooms will reflect that all three are designated as Michigan Football Legends" (DETROIT NEWS, 6/13).'s Nicole Baumgardner notes UM has two other retired football numbers -- Tom Harmon's No. 98 and the No. 11 worn by Francis, Albert and Alvin Wistert -- though UM AD Dave Brandon said that he "has yet to discuss the 'Legend' topic with either the Harmon or Wistert familiy" (, 6/12). ESPN’s Jesse Palmer said UM football coach Brady Hoke “does such a good job of motivating this team," and having players wear retired numbers “is a great example.” ESPN's Brock Huard said of Hoke, "He understands what Michigan football is all about, and it’s just kind of nice to see Michigan back, to see them relevant again” (“College Football Live,” ESPN2, 6/12).

KEEPING IT REAL: The DETROIT FREE PRESS' Snyder wrote UM banning football players from using Twitter "isn't realistic." Hoke said, "You can ban, then are you teaching guys responsibility just because you're banning? What's the lesson? We want them to grow and understand, and (the media) know more than I do with Twitter and all that stuff. I think there's a maturity that goes along with it." The issue was raised after UM recruit Logan Tuley-Tillman posted a photo on Twitter of him "burning his OSU recruiting letter" (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 6/9).
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