Colorado allows football players to wear 3 retired numbers

BOULDER, Colo. (AP) — Colorado will bring three hallowed football numbers out of retirement at the growing requests from recruits.

Byron “Whizzer” White’s No. 24, Joe Romig’s No. 67 and Bobby Anderson’s No. 11 will all be worn again. The family of White, who died in 2002, along with Romig and Anderson approved the decision to bring back their numbers.

Those three players will still be honored through a patch that will appear on the jersey. It will bear their name and years they played for Colorado.

“Current players and recruits ask all the time for jersey numbers, and often the retired ones have come up,” Colorado athletic director Rick George said Wednesday in a statement. “It should also bring a spotlight back to those three players every time a TV camera shows them head-on or a picture appears in a newspaper or online. The names White, Romig and Anderson will be celebrated all over again.”

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White had his number retired after his senior season in 1937 when he became the school’s first All-American in football. White played professional football, graduated from Yale Law School and was appointed by President John F. Kennedy to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1962. He retired from the bench in 1993.

“It will be an honor to watch number 24 in action for Colorado again,” his family said through his son Charles.

Romig was an offensive guard and linebacker for Colorado. He had his jersey number retired soon after his senior season in 1961.

“It’s absolutely fine that my number comes back into circulation, especially if it helps the program,” Romig said. “It’s an honor to be remembered.”

Anderson played quarterback for Colorado before switching to tailback during the 1969 season. He set 18 single-game, single-season and career records over his three seasons with the Buffaloes. He rushed for 2,729 yards and have more than 5,000 yards of total offense.

“I’ve had my day in the sun, but I will appreciate and be very proud of how it will continue to be honored,” Anderson said.

One number that will remain unavailable is 19 — at least for a little while longer. It was worn by the late tailback Rashaan Salaam, who won the Heisman Trophy following the 1994 season. The number was retired in 2017. He took his own life on Dec. 5, 2016. He was 42.

The No. 19 will remain retired for at least 19 years to honor Salaam.

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