Retiring Jerseys? For whom and under what circumstance?


In today's Quickies, Tru links a poll asking if Anthony Davis should have his jersey retired.

It raises a great question as to who should have their jersey retired at Kentucky and under what circumstance. I remember a FanShot several month ago regarding retiring Darius Miller's jersey and indeed, one of the first posts in the comments in the Quickies advocated the retirement for Miller.

Clearly, retiring jerseys or numbers is a very emotional question. So for the purposes of this post, I'm simply going to try to look at it from an objective standpoint.

According to UK Athletics, the last retired "jersey" was Rick Pitino. (I don't know what they consider Bill Keightley's retirement if it isn't listed with Pitino.) The last retired player jersey was Jamal Mashburn. Considering that we have won three championships and been to five Final Fours since the Monster Mash terrorized the hardwood of Rupp... that seems like a humongous gap to me.

There is currently no established criteria that I have been unable to find for retiring jerseys or numbers at UK. Therefore, I borrowed some objective criteria from our closest parallel in college basketball... the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. You can find the criteria here.

So, since the Mashburn was drafted by the Mavericks... what UK players qualify under the UNC standards for jersey retirement ("honored" as they call it) and what player qualifies to have his number never worn at Kentucky again?!!?

Most Valuable Player of a National Championship winning team: Delk 1996. Sheppard 1998. Davis 2012.

SEC Player of the year: Delk 1996. Mercer 1997. Prince 2001. Bogans 2003. Wall 2010. Davis 2012.

First or Second Team All American: Delk 1996 (AP 2nd). Mercer 1997 (AP 1st). Padgett 1999 (Wooden Award 1st) Prince 2002 (NABC 2nd), 2001 (AP 2nd). Bogans 2003 (NABC 2nd team). Meeks 2009 (AP 2nd team). Cousins 2010 (AP 1st). Wall 2010 (AP 1st). Davis 2012 (AP 1st). MKG 2012 (Sporting News 2nd).

NCAA Tournament MOP: Davis 2012.

Olympic Gold Medalist: Davis 2012. Prince 2008.

National Player of the Year: Davis 2012. And that’s it… by Chapel Hill standards, no one ever wears his number for the Blue and White again.

As I say, according to my best Google-Fu; Kentucky does not have established criteria for honoring jerseys or retiring numbers. So I stole the criteria of the closest comparison we have in college basketball; looking over those benchmarks I see no possible reason to exclude Anthony Davis and I see quite a gap in other players that deserve to be honored as well.

Considering how in touch Cal is with the history of the program and the PR aspects of things like this… I’m surprised that he hasn’t started work on this yet.

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