Michigan Letting Players Keep Legacy Jerseys
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) – Fans aren’t the only ones who never want to forget Michigan’s last-second win over Notre Dame.
Wolverines quarterback Denard Robinson and other players asked athletic director Dave Brandon if they could keep their legacy jerseys after the game and the answer was yes.
“They love those jerseys,” Brandon told The Associated Press. “I walked out of the locker room, checked with compliance and got the go ahead. The reason they’re getting the jerseys is they really want them and NCAA rules allow us to do it because it was a special event and the cost was under a threshold.”
Wolverines defensive end Ryan Van Bergen, one of the captains, said he’s not worried about any of his teammates selling or trading their jerseys.
“I think some school has probably made that a point that you’re not supposed to do that,” Van Bergen said Monday. “So, I think it’s pretty clear that you’re supposed to just hold onto them. I don’t see anybody trying to get rid of those any time soon.”
Rival Ohio State announced last season that several football players sold memorabilia such as jerseys and Big Ten championship rings for cash or traded them for discounted tattoos. The scandal cost head coach Jim Tressel his job and triggered an NCAA investigation.
Michigan, which has sold a lot of the blue jerseys with a maize-colored `M’ on the chest and stripes on the sleeves, has apparently figured out a way to let the players have a keepsake.
“I got it at home,” Van Bergen said. “It’s pretty cool. We thought they were going to auction them off, but we got to keep them. Everybody is pretty excited about that. It’s unique. It’s one of a kind and it’s awesome we get to keep those jerseys.”
Michigan coach Brady Hoke said he thought it was “special” that his players will own the jerseys.
Receiver Junior Hemingway had a patch on his No. 21 jersey, honoring Desmond Howard as the first “Michigan Football Legend.” Brandon said that honor will not be given to another player again this season.
“And, there’s no guarantee we will do one every year,” Brandon told The AP. “That will be a rare, well-considered event.”
Michigan beat Notre Dame 35-31 in front of a record crowd on national TV, but is determined to forget about that game and focus on the next one Saturday against Eastern Michigan.
“We have got to move forward fast,” Hoke said.
Running back Fitzgerald Toussaint is expected to play against the Eagles, led by former Michigan assistant Ron English, after he had a team-high 80 yards rushing in the opener and hurt his shoulder. Hoke said he didn’t know if banged-up linebackers Brandon Herron (leg) or Cam Gordon (back) would be healthy enough to play in the third of five straight games at the Big House.
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