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Vanderbilt removes all jersey numbers from football roster

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We heard hints of this in spring practice, but this is taking it to a new level.

Syndication: The Tennessean Stephanie Amador / The Tennessean via Imagn Content Services, LLC

If you’ve been following the (randomly on hold because I am lazy) uniform number countdown in the morning Anchor Drop, you’ve probably frequently seen the comment whenever I run across a number that doesn’t have a player attached to it that freshmen haven’t been assigned jersey numbers yet.

Vanderbilt updated the football team’s official roster this week and, uh, it turns out that no one has a jersey number right now.

Now, we heard about this in the spring when confused reporters showed up for spring practice and had no idea who was on the field because nobody was wearing a number. Clark Lea explained it thusly:

“We are going to earn everything in this program,” Lea shared when asked why his players didn’t have numbers on their jerseys. “Until we understand that we rent those numbers, we don’t own them, until we are ready to work within them, leave them better for the next person to wear them, that will come. I don’t want to put a timeline on it.

Well, sure, but I have so many questions.

Questions like, do the holdovers from last season have to earn back their old number, or is everything up for grabs? Is there a possibility that quarterback Ken Seals isn’t wearing #8 in the fall because somebody else claimed it first? Do players get to pick whatever number they want among the remaining ones whenever they earn a number, or is there a set pecking order of numbers to be assigned? Might players who have their jersey number in their Twitter handle need to change said handle? (Are we still going to assign duplicate numbers? Please tell me we’re not going to assign duplicate numbers unless we have to. Or at least that we will not put two players with the same number on the kickoff return team at the same time.)

Anyway, there was probably no reason this needed its own post (which should be the Anchor of Gold motto if it wasn’t already; also I fully expect somebody in the comments to point out that I have not finished the basketball player report cards.) But also, the kickoff countdown is going to get weird. And I still have unanswered questions.