Garrett Uekman’s death was an unexpected tragedy, one that is as sudden as it is shocking. Uekman was obviously loved by those close to him including: friends, family, teammates, coaches, and even Razorback staff. Jeff Long was surprisingly able to hold his composure throughout the Emergency Press Conference that had been held, but not without a few hiccups that anyone who truly cares about such a tragedy would have. Bobby Petrino was even struggling to hold his composure. During this mind-numbing chain-of-events, a question has started surfacing: Should Garrett’s number be retired?
Throughout Razorback history, only 2 jersey numbers have ever been retired: #12 and #77. #12 initially belonged to Razorback-great Clyde Scott, whose jersey was retired not long after his tenure at Arkansas ended in 1948. He then passed it along to Arkansas PK Steve Little in the 1970s. Little’s one wish in order to become a Razorback was to wear the #12. Clyde Scott obliged. Needless to say, Steve Little ended his tenure as an Arkansas-great and was recognized alongside Scott.
The #77 belonged to Brandon Burlsworth. Burlsworth was an All-American Offensive Guard for the Razorbacks who initially walked on. He died in a tragic car accident only 11 days after being drafted by the Indianapolis Colts in the 3rd Rd of the NFL Draft. Burlsworth was best known for his “Drew Carey glasses” which were black horn-rimmed frames. He is still honored at every Home game by a section of underprivileged kids who get to see a Razorback game for the first time in their lives.
This raises the obvious question that needs to be answered: Should Garrett Uekman’s number be retired? It definitely falls in line with previous tragedies that have been experienced.