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Offseason Trials: Should Jerseys Be Retired?

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You be the jury

Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

In a continuation of our off season series, the issue of retiring numbers has come up. The discussion was started by me coming across this article. It is also discussed here. For what it's worth, I think Kaminsky deserves to have his number retired. The Wisconsin football team has 6 numbers retired, and Kaminsky could well mean more to Wisconsin basketball more than any one player did or does to Wisconsin football. I'll let the excellent OTE commentariat hash it out. In the meantime, here are the arguments for and against. I'm going to do this slightly differently by presenting only the closing statements...

In favor of retiring numbers

"Your Honor (obviously me), we recognize that basketball (in the instance of Frank Kaminsky, which will be the baseline of this trial for the sake of simplicity, although I'll attempt to tie in football as well) is a team sport, but we maintain that exceptional individuals deserve to have their accomplishments recognized. Whether the NCAA wants to acknowledge it or not, the individuals players matter. The 2015 (or 2014) Final Four team will be far more beloved than the 2000 Final Four team will be. Not because they accomplished more, as neither team won a national championship, but because of the players themselves. Frank Kaminsky was the most visible of those individuals, and what better way to immortalize him in Wisconsin basketball lore than to let no other player wear his number 44?"

Those in opposition

"Why should college athletes have their numbers retired? Because they won national championships? No national championship is won by an individual player. Do wrestlers have numbers retired? No, because they don't wear numbers because they don't compete in a TEAM sport. I used the picture I did for a reason. The whole team said Josh Gasser was the leader, the heart and soul of the Badgers. Does Gasser deserve to have his number retired? He has some pretty impressive stats himself. What is the baseline for retiring numbers? Indiana has no retied numbers in basketball, despite having numerous national championships. No school could possibly retire every 1,000 point scorer, except Northwestern or Rutgers because they're awful..." "OBJECTION NEITHER SCHOOL COULD EVER HAVE ANYONE CLOSE TO RELEVANT TO THE DISCUSSION OF RETIRING NUMBERS." "Sustained, quit taking pot shots at terribad basketball programs" "But is that not the point? Frank Kaminsky had a Northwestern scholarship offer. Is Bo Ryan really so genius that Frank Kaminsky would have been that much worse off going there?" "OBJECTION THE OBVIOUS ANSWER IS YES" "Overruled. Shut up, Bo Ryan is a proven genius, Bill Carmody and Chris Collins are not, but this is your second objection during a closing argument. Don't be a jackass, the first one wasn't even to a rhetorical question, yet alone a question to a witness" "Again, this just proves the individual does not matter, and thus cannot deserve to have "their" number retired. The defense rests their case"

Note:This is OTE court, unlike the actual justice system, certain legal procedures were not recognized because the author was too lazy to write a rebuttal among other things that's not how OTE court works.