Ross Kelly, CBS Local Sports
On Wednesday the Charlotte Hornets retired Dell Curry’s jersey on the same night his son, Steph was in town with the Golden State Warriors. While Steph is well on his way to having his Warriors jersey retired one day, he shouldn’t hold his breath on having a North Carolina jersey of his own retired, that being his one from Davidson College. The school has a long-standing policy on only retiring the jerseys of players who graduated and Curry left the school for the NBA after his junior year.
Davidson’s athletic director Jim Murphy admitted that he doesn’t even know the process, if there is one, to amend the rule:
“It’s one of those things where, I’m not even sure who would make that decision to be honest with you, just because it’s never come up before. I assume it would be the board of trustees…There has not been an exemption for it, to my understanding, for anyone. The policy itself speaks a lot to what Davidson is all about. It’d be an interesting discussion, but it hasn’t been started yet.”
Steph also admitted that he knew what he was signing up for when he committed to Davidson who was just one of three Division I programs to offer him a scholarship. He also said he intends to go back to school to finish his degree:
“I knew what I signed up for when I went to Davidson. I made a promise to coach [Bob] McKillop and my family that when I left school back in ’09 that that would be accomplished — and it will be soon. Hopefully sooner than later…It’s still a priority for sure; obviously there’s a lot going on right now. Taking advantage of my career right now on the court in the NBA, it’s only a very short window, so you want to give all the attention and effort. But to be able to finish out that part of my life, whenever it does happen, will be huge.”
Many athletes who left school early have gone back during the summer and completed their degrees (Michael Jordan actually finished his mid-season while rehabbing a broken foot in his second NBA season). But Davidson doesn’t offer summer classes and his Warriors plan on being busy during May and June over the next few years. Maybe online courses is an option but if Davidson doesn’t offer summer courses, I doubt they offer online courses.
I understand policies are policies, but come on. You can create some wiggle room to allow for one of the most popular athletes on the planet to be honored with a jersey retirement. Michael Jordan never played for Pat Riley yet his #23 became the first jersey retired in Miami Heat franchise history. LeBron James didn’t go to college yet he has his own locker in Ohio State’s basketball facility. There’s always exceptions to the rule that can be made and Davidson should make one for their most accomplished former athlete.