UCLA retired the No. 8 jersey of College and Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman at halftime of Friday’s 31-10 loss to Stanford at the Rose Bowl.
Aikman was joined on stage at the 50-yard line by his daughters, UCLA Chancellor Gene Block, Athletic Director Dan Guerrero and former football coach Terry Donahue. He was presented with a framed No. 8 UCLA jersey and a framed painting by Mike Sullivan.
“Having my No. 8 UCLA jersey retired is something I will forever cherish,” Aikman said in his first visit to the Rose Bowl since he was the MVP of the Dallas Cowboys’ 52-17 victory over the Buffalo Bills in Super Bowl XXVII in 1993.
“This is a very special moment for me and my family.”
Aikman is the ninth football player in UCLA history to have his number retired.
Aikman guided the Bruins to a 20-4 record during the 1987 and 1988 seasons, concluding his career second in school history in passing yards, touchdown passes, completions and completion percentage.
Aikman was the first player chosen in the 1989 NFL draft and helped lead the Cowboys to three Super Bowl championships. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006 and College Football Hall of Fame in 2008, one of three UCLA players to be enshrined in both Halls of Fame.
When Aikman was honored at halftime of the UCLA-Notre Dame basketball game in 2009 for his induction into the College Football Hall of Fame, he announced to the crowd he had completed the requirements for his degree in sociology and participated in that year’s graduation ceremonies.
“Troy is the embodiment of what it means to be a Bruin,” Guerrero said.
“He was a leader both on and off the field at UCLA and with the Dallas Cowboys while setting records and establishing a lofty standard of excellence for both teams. Most admirably, and most importantly, he has been an inspiration to countless people across all walks of life with the extensive work he has done in the community and with his pursuit, and ultimate completion, of a UCLA degree.
“We cannot think of a person more deserving of this tremendous honor than Troy.”
—City News Service
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