Urban Meyer, Rose Bowl champions to be honored at halftime of Ohio State men's basketball game

Adam Jardy
Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer speaks the crowd during a timeout of the basketball game against Illinois Fighting Illini during the 1st half of their NCAA basketball game at Value City Arena in Columbus, Ohio on January 3, 2014. (Dispatch photo by Kyle Robertson)

The Ohio State men’s basketball team will have a little extra help when it hosts Penn State on Thursday night.

At halftime of the game at Value City Arena, the program will recognize former football coach Urban Meyer and members of the 2018 team that won the Rose Bowl. On Wednesday afternoon, men’s basketball coach Chris Holtmann said that while he wasn’t aware of that until a reporter asked him about it, he reaffirmed his support for the program.

“It’s great,” he said. “I love having those guys here, to have the football team, I love having them here. I love having them around our team, around our program. I’m excited about them being acknowledged at halftime. As I’ve mentioned before, Urban’s been tremendous and I’m really excited about continuing to get to know Ryan (Day) and his staff.”

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This isn’t the first time this season that Meyer has been recognized at a basketball game. When the Buckeyes hosted Michigan State on Jan. 4, Meyer was recognized during a timeout and then watched much of the game with new transfer quarterback Justin Fields and last year’s starter, Dwayne Haskins.

Holtmann has been supportive of Meyer since before he took the job in June of 2017, and the two have spoken often. He has attended some home football games, most recently the Michigan game last season, and sported a football jersey for a postgame press conference the night before that game.

Despite his natural competitive nature, Holtmann said he holds no jealousy for the attention that the football program commands.

“I think that I’m not sure you take this job if you feel differently,” he said. “I think there’s somewhat of an understanding of what this job is and the support that that program garners and you try to work in concert together. How can not just those two programs, but how can all our programs get to the highest level possible? I really don’t look at it as a detriment. I understand the ‘football school’ moniker that comes with this, and why not embrace it?

“I believe we can compete at a really high level as we continue to grow as a team and grow our program. I don’t feel like it’s an impediment in any way.”


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