The Huskies wore their official 2007 game jerseys Saturday for picture day, and the players' names are on the back.
This, of course, had become a bit of an issue in Tyrone Willingham's first season. He took the names off the backs of the jerseys to symbolize his emphasis of team over individual. But the individuals he seemed to affect most were the fans, who tend to like names on the backs of jerseys.
Even back then, Willingham had said that he might one day returned the names to jerseys, once he thought his players had appropriately bought into the team concept.
Then came rumors that this would be the season. But when asked at media day, Willingham simply said it is "a possibility."
Now, it's a done deal ... at least for 2007.
Willingham just explained that he made the move partly as a compliment to his team, and partly as a nod to the fans ... especially since he said he was unable to solve the Huskies' tendency to issue the same number to different players.
"It's just about helping our fans, that's one. I couldn't eliminate double numbers, that's two. And it's not a bad idea," Willingham said.
"I think we keep growing, I think we keep maturing. And that's an imporant element. I say it to our team all the time, it is important thtat we understand that one of the keys to being successful is putting the team before self. When that concept is fully embraced, then the individual never worries about self.
"I just know if you're sitting in any stadium in America and you've got double numbers, it's very difficult sometimes to identify who people are. And that is a legitimate concern that I've had, and I've had it from day one. Because we have been – I won't say notorious – but we've had a lot of double numbers here over the years."
Willingham said he will allow the double numbers to continue out of respect for players who don't want to change their numbers, due to either tradition or superstition.
"My guys like certain numbers," he said. "Not because I'm superstitious, because I'm not … but part of my job means that I have to be aware of other people's superstitions, so you try to help when you can."