Singletary’s jersey

Just when you thought the discussion about the place of Sean Singletary in Virginia basketball history was over, some interesting quotes from associate AD Jon Oliver pop up in the Cavalier Daily:

“We do not publish our specific criteria for retiring numbers and jerseys. But it is correct that retiring a number is a higher honor.”

“Sean has reached the criteria for having his number retired with the exception of one category. His number will be retired in the future if the category requirement is satisfied.”

I must admit that my initial reaction upon seeing the black curtain over the “retired jerseys” banner (and not the “retired numbers” banner) in JPJ prior to the tip on the Maryland game was that of disappointment.  I realize this program is not UCLA, Kentucky or Carolina, and that the lesser of the two is still an honor, but prior to SS the only name on that list was Curtis Staples.  As a three-time first-team all-ACC selection, SS deserves to be on the same list as the only other two Virginia players to achieve that honor – Bryant Stith and Ralph Sampson.  End of story.  Staples had a nice career and of course held the NCAA career 3-point field goal record until it was broken by fellow Roanoke-native J.J. Redick.  He made all-ACC honorable mention as a sophomore and junior and all-ACC third team as a senior.  Staples didn’t even get the distinction of having his jersey retired until the JPJ opener in 2006, nearly a decade after completing his eligibility.  At the time, it seemed clear that the jersey retirement was an honor for the second-tier of program greats, a category SS certainly does not fall in.

While Oliver refused to specify the aforementioned criteria, he did indicate that SS was likely to meet them all.  Certainly no program wants players striving solely for individual goals, and this is what Oliver cited as the basis for the secrecy.  Still, does it make sense to give SS a second-tier honor at one point and then up it to top-tier when he achieves the last of the criteria, likely graduation?  And, if graduation is the only difference between number retirement and jersey retirement, why not state at least that?  Doesn’t Oliver want all his student-athletes striving for a diploma?

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