Tressel may return when Buckeyes 2002 championship team honored
Columbus, OH, United States (4E Sports) – Former Ohio State players who were part of the 2002 national championship team are hoping to convince ex-coach Jim Tressel to make an appearance in a reunion during the Buckeyes’ season finale Nov. 24.
The reunion was planned by former Buckeyes players Mike Doss, Craig Krenzel and Dustin Fox to celebrate the 10th anniversary of that championship and to honor all members of that winning team at Ohio Stadium during the game.
But doubt still lingers if Tressel will join the reunion in the aftermath of a bitter separation with the team. He was forced to resign by the Buckeyes in the wake of NCAA violations 16 months ago that resulted in a one-year bowl ban this season.
“Obviously, the big question everyone has is will Tress be involved?” Fox told the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “I don’t know. I would like to think so. It wouldn’t feel the same without him.”
Doss echoed Fox’s sentiment, saying he would love to see his former coach make an appearance in the event.
“We would love to see Tress there,” Doss said. “But the university has stepped up and said we want to recognize that team, and if one person walks out on the field, we’ll still be recognized, and if 100 guys are there, we’ll get recognized. We know what we did as a team and a family unit.”
Doss said part of the plan is to get Tressel to attend a private team dinner planned Friday night before the game and they will go from there.
“We’ll always miss Tress, and what he contributed to the Ohio State University was something special for those 10 years,” Doss said.
Ohio State Athletic director Gene Smith said the university would allow anyone associated with the team to be honored, including Tressel.
Doss said the reunion could give fans the chance to celebrate Ohio State’s most recent football title.
“The crowd is going to be really excited. All the players will probably get goose bumps all over again 10 years later,” Doss said. “We know we did something that can never be matched, winning the way we did and the 14-0 season. Those are things we’ll always remember.”
Meanwhile, the Ohio State Alumni Club of Greater Cleveland is turning its regular banquet the Tuesday after the Michigan game into a night honoring the 2002 team.
Club President Laura Ambro said the club has so far received four confirmations for the Nov. 27 event, from Fox, Krenzel, running back Maurice Clarett and Tressel.
Clarett wrote recently on his Twitter account that he will be part of only the reunion events that include Tressel.