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Friday, July 18, 2008
Young, Durant to join Williams, Ford with retired UT jersey numbers

By Tim Griffin
ESPN.com

AUSTIN, Texas -- The University of Texas will retire jersey numbers of nine athletes in three sports in ceremonies during the 2008-09 school year, Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds announced Friday.

Durant

Durant

Young

Young

Included in the group will be football players Vince Young, Bobby Layne and Tommy Nobis; baseball players Greg Swindell, Burt Hooton, Scott Bryant and Brooks Kieschnick; and basketball players Kevin Durant and Slater Martin.

The school previously had retired only four numbers in school history -- former Heisman Trophy winners Earl Campbell (20) and Ricky Williams (34), Wooden Award winner T.J. Ford (11) and Roger Clemens (21). Clemens' number was worn until 1993 before it was retired. Swindell was among the players who wore the number between Clemens' graduation and the earlier jersey retirement.

The school formerly required a player to be honored as a national player of the year before his or her jersey was retired. That rule was amended to include several other deserving athletes, Dodds said.

Change In Tradition

Texas tweaked its policy of requiring a player to be honored as a national player of the year before his or her jersey was retired, resulting in nine additional honorees for 2008-09:

Football
10 -- Vince Young
22 -- Bobby Layne
60 -- Tommy Nobis
Basketball
15 -- Slater Martin
35 -- Kevin Durant
Baseball
20 -- Burt Hooton
21 -- Greg Swindell
23 -- Brooks Kieschnick
25 -- Scott Bryant
"We've given this a lot of thought over the years," Dodds said. "With the completion of renovations at our football and baseball stadiums, as well as Kevin joining T.J. as a national player of the year, we feel that now is the right time to honor some of the greatest of our really great players."

Nobis, who played at the school from 1963-65 and won the Outland Award and the Maxwell Award as a senior, was particularly touched by his alma mater's announcement.

"The University of Texas stands for a lot more than just football, but I know how important football is there and we've had a lot of great teams and players," Nobis said. "When I think of all the players who have walked out onto that field, to be pulled out and recognized as one of the best is really special for me and my family."

Young, who led the Longhorns to their first undisputed national championship in 36 years in the 2005 season, also was excited with his honor.

"Man, I'm speechless," Young said. "I want to congratulate all of the UT legends who are having their jerseys retired in all of the sports. It's humbling to be among that group."

Tim Griffin covers college sports for ESPN.com. Send your questions and comments
to Tim at espntimgriff@yahoo.com.