Today in NC State History: Cross-country team gets fashionable

March 20, 2015
By Chris Saunders

historyIconMonograms first became symbols of sporting success at NC State when they were awarded to athletes in the early 1920s.

It appears that members of the football and basketball teams were the first NC State athletes to receive letters. But it took a couple of years, it appears, before athletes on other teams at NC State started receiving the honor. That happened on this day in 1925, when members of the cross-country team were first awarded monograms.

The Technician reported that the team had not received them in the past, which had caused some controversy. And the controversy had carried over into the 1924-25 season.

NC State's 1925 Cross-Country Team

NC State’s 1925 Cross-Country Team

“Ever since the cross-country team staged its last meet last fall there has been a great deal of talk and writing about the awarding¬† of monograms to these men,” the paper reported. “Athletic Director [J.F] Miller promised these men monograms before the season started. These monograms are to be awarded now.”

Ralph Brimley

Ralph Brimley

There was an apparent nominating process in play that year for those who would receive the athletic honor. Miller presented recommendations to the Faculty Athletic Council, including the names of five members of the cross-country team.

And Miller made  history that day by recommending, for the first time that freshman athletes be recognized as well. They would be honored with the presentation of a number rather than a letter.

“Miller set a precedent when he recommended that [Ralph] Brimley be awarded a numeral for his outstanding work in Freshman Cross-Country, it being the first time that a first-year man has been awarded a numeral in a minor sport at State College,” The Technician reported.

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