BYU Quickly Backtracks On Placing "Core Values" On Back Of Football Jerseys
BYU football coach Bronco Mendenhall had announced on Thursday that the back of the team's jerseys this season would feature the "core values of his football program -- Spirit, Tradition and Honor" -- instead of player names, but hours later, the coach "decided it would be for one game only after listening to the concerns of players in a team meeting," according to Jay Drew of the SALT LAKE TRIBUNE. Mendenhall wrote on his Twitter account, "Talked to my team tonite (sic). They want to wear tradition spirit honor on jerseys for homecoming only. Last names for rest of the year. PERFECT!" Drew notes the players -- and "seemingly everyone else in the program except Mendenhall -- first learned of the change when they found their 2013 jerseys hanging in the locker room on Thursday afternoon." The players said that they "didn’t even get a chance to pick the value they would wear." Many players were "stunned and incredulous." BYU LB Kyle Van Noy said, "I am not really sure how I feel about them yet. One thing I have enjoyed about playing here at BYU is having the last names on the backs of the jerseys." BYU Associate AD/Communications Brett Pyne confirmed that the jerseys with the core values on the back will be worn only "when the Cougars play host to Georgia Tech" on homecoming. The words Spirit, Tradition and Honor are "spelled out in large letters on the field at LaVell Edwards Stadium, and were on the South side of the stadium until new scoreboards were installed last summer." News of the change "drew mostly a firestorm of criticism on Twitter and other social media outlets, and even several former Cougars weighed in that it was a bad idea" (SALT LAKE TRIBUNE, 8/9). In Utah, Jeff Call writes Mendenhall "unwittingly caused a big distraction for his team" with the jersey change. BYU RB Jamaal Williams said, "We understand what they’re trying to do, but we still want our last names on there" (DESERET NEWS, 8/9).