Wearing No. 0, which is more popular than ever among college basketball players. Why? Because of the N.C.A.A.’s longstanding Rule 1, Section 22, Article 7, Clause b. 2 — the little-known statute that prohibits college basketball players from wearing any of the numerals 6, 7, 8 or 9.
Why can’t they wear 6, 7, 8 or 9?
When a player is whistled for a foul, the referee signals to the scorer’s table the uniform number of the offender by using his hands. John Adams, the N.C.A.A.’s men’s basketball officiating coordinator, said the system is set up so that referees flash only two hands to make their signals, making things easier for the scorer to interpret.
“For example, the No. 6, you’d have to have a 5 and a 1, which could also be interpreted as 51,” Adams said. “We want to be able to signal the numbers once, using a maximum of two hands.”