As of Thursday, Sept. 27, McNicholas students were no longer allowed to wear their team jerseys on game days. Student moderator Gerard Kissel said this privilege has been revoked because students were no longer following the original purpose of the tradition.
For many years it has been a tradition at McNick for athletes to wear their team jerseys on a few of their game days, and last year the rule was changed to allow students to wear their jerseys on all their game days.
“The original intent was that teams could wear their jerseys on a game day, and it had to be approved beforehand. This blurred into players wearing jerseys or team t-shirts whenever they wanted,” Kissel said.
According to Kissel, wearing athletic apparel has turned into an excuse to be out of uniform, rather than an organized way to promote their team. Even if that wasn’t the students’ intention, some sports have games so often that they are out of uniform more often than not. Madeline Mitchell, a junior and varsity volleyball player, said she only wore a uniform polo four times in two weeks because they had so many games. Some teams stopped wearing their uniforms all together, trading them for unapproved t-shirts.
“Many of the women’s teams were abusing it,” Principal Patty Beckert said. “They were wearing any team shirt they wanted, and some were not in approved colors.”
Others failed to coordinate their outfits, which prevented them from being identifiable athletes. Usually the men’s soccer team dresses up, but on a few occasions the players have been uncoordinated. Some players might be in dress clothes, with others in soccer t-shirts and some just in uniform. The rule said that it is supposed to be an organized privilege, and teams should be coordinated. One member of the football team gave his jersey to another student, who wore it to school even though he is not on the team.
Some students are disappointed they can no longer wear their team jerseys. Sarah Wuerfel, a junior and varsity volleyball player, said, “We liked wearing our t-shirt because it showed we were part of the team, and we hoped it would encourage people to come to our games.”
Head Football Coach Mike Orlando said it is unfortunate that students can’t wear jerseys anymore, but he was also disappointed by the football incident that may have contributed to the rule change. “It’s unfortunate, but sometimes you have to use blanket consequences,” Orlando said. “Overall, the boys were disappointed they can’t wear them anymore. I think they liked wearing them because it’s their proof they are a part of a team.” Beckert noted that the change was not made because of any specific team, but rather because multiple teams were not following the rules. However, both Beckert and Kissel are open to letting the athletes earn the tradition back.