Monday, February 02, 2015

UH retired numbers

Saturday the University of Hawaii athletic department will pay tribute to the late Judy Mosley-McAfee, the most dominating basketball player in the school's history.

It is scheduled to unveil a banner in the Stan Sheriff Center at halftime of the game with Cal State Northridge, celebrating the school's first All-American in women's basketball and all-time leader in scoring and rebounds, who died of cancer in 2013.

But while the banner is said to carry her number (32), UH says it is retiring her jersey, not the number.

In that Mosley is the first example of an eight-month old "retirement of jersey policy" policy that draws the curious distinction between the two.

The policy notes, in bold italics, that "although the honoree may be celebrated with their jersey number (if applicable), the jersey number will not be 'retired.'"

Officially, a UH spokesman said, across all of its sports offerings, just three numbers have been retired in the school's nearly 105-year history.

Initially, there was Tommy Kaulukukui (32), its first All-American in football in 1935, though it apparently took a while before they got around to putting the number aside. A couple generations later in 1997, UH took the numbers of pitcher Derek Tatsuno (16) and his coach, Les Murakami (11), out of circulation.

So far there have been none in basketball, according to UH, not Tom Henderson, Bob Nash, Anthony Carter, Nani Cockett or Raylene Howard.

Athletic director Ben Jay said, "Our executive staff developed a formal policy with input from our head coaches. The feedback we received was to honor and celebrate our student-athlete greats by retiring their jersey with their name, but not the number.

"This is not uncommon with other athletic departments around the country. Some 'retire' a number and others do not and keep the number in use."

[Who cares?  We have the Circle of Honor.  Isn't that good enough?]

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