Syracuse unretires No. 44, last worn in 1998

You'll see someone wearing No. 44 on Syracuse's roster in 2015.

The number, worn by Jim Brown, Ernie Davis and Floyd Little, was initially retired in 2005. Now it's being made available again.

The last player to wear the jersey was fullback Rob Konrad in 1998.

According to, athletic director Pete Sala and Little, who was present at the ceremony to help announce the program's decision to unretire the number on Tuesday, offered a basic idea of how the number will be awarded, though the site said coach Scott Shafer didn't provide any explicit details.


A small committee, composed of at least four or five members, will deliberate before the number is awarded to a player. Little will be among the group, though he and Sala declined to name others.

"I think that person always reveals himself," Little said. "You find a person who's a great athlete, student-athlete, a great community worker and a good person."

Little, now a special assistant to the athletic director, has said previously that he wants his grandson to wear the number and said Tuesday, per, that his grandson has been promised the number in eight years.

Little, an NFL Hall of Famer, ran for 2,750 yards in three seasons at Syracuse from 1964-1966. He was preceded in the number by Brown, also a Hall of Famer, who rushed for 2,091 yards in 1954-1956 and Davis, who rushed for 2,386 yards from 1959-1961. Davis also won the 1961 Heisman Trophy.

The three will also be honored with statues outside of Syracuse's indoor practice facility. The area, announced during the ceremony Tuesday, will be called "Plaza 44." The statues of each player will be 9-feet tall and the area is expected to be completed by the start of the 2015 football season.

While Little is happy the number is coming back, not everyone is. Former Syracuse quarterback Donovan McNabb – also a member of the school's board of trustees – expressed his displeasure with the decision in a series of tweets Tuesday evening.

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Nick Bromberg is the assistant editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!