A TEAM loss: Bulls settle for blank jerseys (UPDATED)
After consultation with the NCAA -- and serious social media backlash -- USF has announced it has ditched the idea of replacing last names with THE TEAM on the back of jerseys this season.
With the exception of the numbers, they'll simply remain blank, team spokesman Brian Siegrist said Tuesday.
Responding to a circulating rumor, Coach Willie Taggart confirmed Monday evening the Bulls were planning to go with THE TEAM moniker for all jerseys, a violation of NCAA Rule 1-4-5 governing the design of football jerseys.
Siegrist said at that point, the idea still was being vetted with the NCAA, and nothing had yet been sewn on the Bulls' official game jerseys, though a mock-up had been circulated to local media.
On Tuesday, Siegrist said: "We're just gonna go ahead and leave the jerseys blank this year. That's where it ends up at."
Rule 1-4-5 indicates that other than the player's number, the jersey may only contain the player's name, school name, NCAA logo, sleeve stripes, the American and/or state flag and a logo for the school, conference, mascot, postseason game, memorial or the military.
The rule also states: "By interpretation, only military service academies may substitute words such as Honor, Integrity, etc., for the player's name on the back of the jersey...civilian institutions may not substitute other words for the player's name."
Teams in violation will be asked to change into "legal" jerseys before kickoff and before the start of each quarter until the jerseys are changed. A timeout is charged at the start of each quarter in which the illegal jerseys are worn.