- Josh Moyer, ESPN Staff Writer
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STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- In a nod to its past, Penn State players wore blue no-name jerseys Saturday afternoon -- the first time since the Joe Paterno Era the jerseys have gone without last names.
— Josh Moyer (@ESPNJoshMoyer) September 27, 2014
The move is significant for fans of the Nittany Lions. For more than 120 years, Penn State wore the same, plain no-name jerseys, and it’s a tradition many purists hold dear. Even first-year head coach James Franklin said the most common question he received this offseason centered around the jerseys.
A Penn State spokesman said the change was in honor of Homecoming, but would not discuss the move further. He said Franklin would address the topic after the noon game at Beaver Stadium.
Former coach Bill O’Brien changed the practice of wearing no-name jerseys in 2012, when he felt players who stayed during the sanctions deserved to be honored. Franklin has said he wants to strike a balance between honoring the past and respecting players’ opinions.