Todd Ellis was rejected for jersey retirement in 1989
Plus, notes on Lou Holtz and Georgia's sexual assault scandal.
When I was reporting on upcoming jersey retirements back in May, I stumbled upon an interesting news item from the Nov. 14, 1989 edition of The State. The paper reported that the eight-member committee overseeing jersey retirements for South Carolina football rejected a proposal to retire the No. 9 worn by Todd Ellis.
At the time, the jersey retirement process was — and for the next decade-plus, remained — extremely chaotic. Prior to 1980, the only retired jerseys belonged to players who had died. When USC finally did start retiring jerseys for the living, they eschewed the tradition of waiting five years or more before taking such a drastic step. Sterling Sharpe’s jersey was retired in 1988, months after his USC career ended. And George Rogers’ jersey was retired during his final home game.