Texas A&M No. 2 jerseys were a hot commodity in College Station last season, that being the number worn by Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Johnny Manziel.
Jerseys bearing the number of Manziel’s successor, however, will be much harder to come by.
Texas A&M is one of three Football Bowl Subdivision schools — along with Northwestern and Arizona — that will sell only generic football jerseys beginning this season, sources told ESPN’s Darren Rovell.
All Aggies jerseys sold to the public will bear No. 12, a nod to Kyle Field’s “The 12th Man” tradition, and Northwestern will sell only No. 51 unis — head coach Pat Fitzgerald’s number during his playing days. Arizona will use a simpler concept, offering only No. 14 during the 2014 season.
“We’ve been thinking about doing this for a while,” said Arizona athletic director Greg Byrne, the only school official to comment in the ESPN report.
Rovell writes that “college sports insiders have expected a move like this designed to lessen the legal exposure of the schools and change the public perception of taking advantage of college athletes, as they fight harder for their commercial rights.”
Jay Bilas certainly will be pleased.