[NCAA FB] Ole Miss may hang up Mullins' No. 38

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Ole Miss may hang up Mullins' No. 38

OXFORD, Miss. (AP) -- Fifteen years after a paralyzed football player's death focused national attention on the University of Mississippi, school officials are considering changing how Chucky Mullins is honored.

Mullins broke his neck while making a tackle in the Vanderbilt game in October 1989. He was paralyzed from the neck down and died May 6, 1991, due to complications resulting from a blood clot.

Since 1990, the Chucky Mullins Courage Award winner has been selected each spring, given to a senior defensive player. The winning player always has worn Mullins' No. 38 the next season. In 2006 it was stellar linebacker Patrick Willis.

Some players have expressed concerns about the award to head coach Ed Orgeron. It's about keeping their own identity in a sports where 22 players are on the field at the same time.

Many football players have worn the same number their entire careers. They become attached to that number and want to continue to be identified with it.

Now, the athletic administration is working with the executive board of the M Club -- which honors Ole Miss lettermen in all sports -- to consider permanently retiring No. 38.

The football staff also will have input.

"We want to preserve the legacy and integrity of the award and make a decision that will be best with those factors in mind," Walker Jones, the associate athletics director for internal affairs, told the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal newspaper.

If the number is retired, the award winner likely would wear a patch on his jersey or a helmet decal bearing No. 38.

A decision is expected this summer.

"The Chucky Mullins Courage Award is not going anywhere and will hopefully be here forever," Jones said. "It's just a matter of how best to display the winner."

I never heard of this award untill I came across this article. I couldn't help but think these kids complaining are incredibly selfish and disrespectful. What do you think?

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I think they should retire that number. Sports has always had a tradition of honoring the past, whether sports heros, war heros, or players and coaches who have suffered tragedy.

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