For American football games (college and professional), when did they begin honoring players who passed away by starting ten players on the field?
I haven't watched football for that long, but my earliest recollection of this was USC running ten men out on an extra point, because their kicker had drowned or something earlier in the summer. I believe it was around the time Pete Carroll was coach and he let the clock run down to 0 to honor the fallen student-athlete. The opposing team accepted the penalty but they made the PAT anyway since it was so close.
Another time was when the Washington Redskins (before they changed their names to Washington Football Team) ran ten men out on defense for the first play of the game because Sean Taylor was sadly shot to death at home. I think the offense didn't know or didn't care and ran a play that gained many yards because they were short a man on defense, trying to respect and honor their fallen teammate.
I'm sure the first or second time this was done, people probably didn't realize what the honoring team was trying to do and/or in the case of the Redskins, took advantage. I'm curious because in December 2021 the Broncos honored Demaryius Thomas in this way. Everyone understood what was going on; no one was trying to gain an advantage by running a play while someone was undermanned or their guard was down or accepted the penalty to punish the team honoring their teammate.