Temple donors can sponsor individual jersey numbers for $50,000

Jahad Thomas (R) and Nick Sharga (L) both wore single digits for Temple in 2016. Thomas graduated but Sharga is back in 2017. (Getty)
Jahad Thomas (R) and Nick Sharga (L) both wore single digits for Temple in 2016. Thomas graduated but Sharga is back in 2017. (Getty)

Wearing a single digit uniform number is a badge of honor for Temple football.

Those numbers are awarded to the team’s best and toughest players, and now, with a new program called “The 9,” fans can sponsor those jersey numbers. Temple announced in a release Monday that fans can receive special perks for a $50,000 donation.

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The 9 is a new program that allows Temple University fans to support Temple Athletics and Temple Football while having the experience of interacting with the nine toughest Owl football players. For a $50,000 tax-deductible annual commitment, Temple fans are able to sponsor one of these nine numbers which are considered to be the highest honor an Owl can earn.

“This program is made for the ‘Best of the Best’ of Temple Owl fans,” said Temple Deputy Director of Athletics Craig Angelos. “As our single digit numbers are earned and limited to our top players, this is limited to our top supporters. It is an exclusive club and these nine members will feel special in so many ways.”

That money is going to be put to good use, too. Temple said those donations will go directly to the following causes that benefit student-athletes: Academic resources, career services and programing, student-athlete nutrition, greater access to mental health services, enhanced training and strength and conditioning facilities, recruiting resources and facility enhancements.

The donors who pledge will receive custom jerseys with their chosen single-digit number, interaction with their sponsored player and travel on the team plane to one “mutually agreed upon” Owls away game.

Numbers one, two and three — for receiver Ventell Bryant, defensive back Delvon Randall and defensive back Sean Chandler — have already been assigned, while the remaining numbers will be announced “at an event prior to the start of the season.”

Other players to wear single digits this season are fullback Nick Sharga (No. 4), receiver Keith Kirkwood (No. 5) and defensive lineman Jacob Martin (No. 9).

This isn’t something completely out of the ordinary for college football programs, by the way. Schools like Michigan and Stanford have donors that sponsor positions on their coaching staff.

(via mgoblue.com)
(via mgoblue.com)

Temple, coming off an AAC title, opens up the 2017 season — its first under new head coach Geoff Collins — on Sept. 2 at Notre Dame.

For more Temple news, visit OwlScoop.com.

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Sam Cooper is a writer for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!

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