tBBC Revisited: #WHO2TheRaftersOSU

Written January 21st, 2013 by WVaBuckeye

Just a little more than a year and almost a week ago, a bunch of Ohio State basketball fans started a journey to get the jersey of one of their all-time favorites retired. #Hop2TheRafters had a storied road and it made waves at a blistering pace. It all began with this from Jeremy Birmingham’s The Forgotten Mancontinued with a petition that has been re-opened and re-organized here #WHO2TheRaftersOSU, and was blitzkreiged by Grant Edgell here. Through donations and efforts by all, we were able to put t-shirts on the Buckeye Nuthouse for one of the Buckeyes last home games against Illinois.

Great T on a great night in the Buckeye Nuthouse.

Great T on a great night in the Buckeye Nuthouse.

Shortly after the wearing of the T’s the Ohio State athletic department decided it was time to address the issue as it had finally hit close to home. Athletic Director Gene Smith issued a statement through local media in Columbus and Bob Hunter had this article as a wrap up. In the article we are told that they won’t be retiring anymore jersey’s simply because we would eventually run out of numbers. This is understandable and okay by me, however; if they really intended to begin a new program of honoring those who are deserving and start with football? Wouldn’t we have heard something by now?

Truth is, this announcement came at an opportune time to quiet the masses who were climbing on the #Hop2TheRafters bandwagon and I promised, as did Dennis Hopson himself, that we would revisit the issue if nothing was done. It’s been long enough and thanks to Jim Jackson discussing it recently along with Dennis addressing it during a pod-cast for Chicago Bull’s history  in which he discusses the need to honor all of those deserving. What follows is a revisit of an article from me during the time we were trying to retire Dennis’ jersey. We’d like your help and input on the matter and would appreciate any help in pushing #WHO2TheRaftersOSU when you can.

Me with the reason and drive behind #WHO2TheRaftersOSU

Me with the reason and drive behind #WHO2TheRaftersOSU

The following was published on March 1st, 2012

The Buckeye Brass had to answer Buckeye Nation. With #Hop2TheRafters rolling right along and creating a stir in Columbus, the athletic department had to put out information that will make everybody happy. Thanks to all who participated, tweeted, and Facebooked about it. Thanks to the man who it was all about for graciously allowing us to bring attention he didn’t want. Truth is, Dennis Hopson has always wanted all of the greats from Ohio State history to be honored in the rafters. If we were successful getting his jersey retired, he promised his mission would be to get the rest of the deserving retired as well.

This brings us to quite a difficult place in the decision-making that will go behind who is chosen for the rafters. There have been several members that have expressed an interest to be on a selection committee with THE Ohio State University. If allowed, they would help discuss a great format that allows special players their spot in the rafters, or in an Ohio Stadium “Ring of Honor” for football. This is the first of a two-part series where I take a look at some of the “lists” they could draw from.

His number 32 should be there right beside #Hop2TheRafters

At the very least, I completely disagree with doing away with retiring jerseys as a whole, as Gene Smith said. One very important reason to continue is that the National POY’s deserve the honor and there’s always the fact that a current player can ask the retired player if he can wear his jersey (re: Katzenmoyer and Griffin even though the 45 wasn’t technically retired). This may be the format moving forward as it is anyway. Truth is there are only 36 numbers in basketball because of numbering rules and NO duplicate numbers as in football, but how many National POY’s will Ohio State eventually have?

Evan Turner deserves to have his number retired because by their standard he is a National POY, and number 21 should hang next to the rest. I am going to provide you the lists for discussion – and they are good ones. The first list is the smallest list and would provide the most discussion. People would probably be surprised to know that the Buckeyes have only enjoyed a little success at the B1G POY award. Currently there are only five on this list.

Big Ten Player of the Year

Dennis Hopson (1987), Jim Jackson (1991, 1992), Scoonie Penn (1999), Terence Dials (2006),
Evan Turner (2010)
In the rafters already

The next list is the list of consensus All-Americans and it’s a dandy. Ohio State honors all of their All-Americans in the media guide but this list are the ones present in more than one list.

Consensus All-American selections

Wes Fesler (1931) Jimmy Hull (1939) Dick Schnittker (1950) Robin Freeman (1955)
Jerry Lucas (1960, 1961*, 1962*) Gary Bradds (1964*) Jim Jackson (1991, 1992) Greg Oden (2007) Evan Turner (2010*)
Jared Sullinger (2011)

The next list is the largest to work from and it comes straight from the Ohio State men’s basketball media guide and by the University standards, would be a great place to start in my humble opinion. The have a section that is called Buckeye Greats and it has great story lines for each individual and what they did while at Ohio State to make the a Buckeye Great.

A Buckeye Great getting his jersey retired, Played with Lucas but enjoyed a much more successful NBA career with the Celtics.

JOHNNY MINER Ohio State’s first All-American (1925)

JIMMY HULL 1939 All-American Played in the first NCAA Finals

GARY BRADDS 1962-64, Most games in the top 50 ppg list, Retired

JIM CLEAMONS 1969-71, Led Buckeyes to win over #2 Marquette NCAA’s

ROBIN FREEMAN 1954-56, All-Time leading scorer before Lucas

JOHN HAVLICEK 1960-62, NBA great and Champion, Retired

DENNIS HOPSON 1984-87, Career and Single season points leader

BILL HOSKET 1966-68, First Academic All-American

JIM JACKSON 1990-92, B1G Frosh of the year & 2-time POY, Retired

CLARK KELLOGG 1980-82, averaged a double/double for his career

JERRY LUCAS 1960-62, All-Time leader in rebounds, Retired

KELVIN RANSEY 1977-80, four year starter and two-time captain

HERB WILLIAMS 1978-81, Career leader in points prior to Hopson

For more reading about all of these players go here.

There you have it. The lists to ponder #Who2TheRafters. I look forward to great discussions about this with our fans and value your input as well.  I will be back next Thursday with a look at the possible lists to draw the football “Ring of Honor” from. And remember





  1. ZbdNo Gravatar
    January 21st, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    If Herb Williams had an ounce of desire to go along with his tremendous ability, he would have been one of the best.


  2. MaliBuckeyeNo Gravatar
    January 21st, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    Last week, I reached out to Dan Wallenberg in the OSU Sports Information Department regarding the university’s plans to honor Hopson and others.

    He said that there were no updates at this time.

    We’ll keep on this.


    EricNo Gravatar
    January 21st, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    “Hold their feet to the fire until they do something” seems like the correct order-of-the-day.


  3. KenNo Gravatar
    January 21st, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    Really good article, WVa, well done. Personally, I’d disagree with retiring a player’s number. I believe that there should be a ‘ring of honor’ or similar formal recognition for players who have excelled on and off the court. In terms of qualifications to be honored, I’m not sure what it would be at this point.

    Having said that, all credit to Hopson for his long view that all recognized (dependent upon criteria) players be honored.

    Looking forward to the upcoming article.


  4. PaulNo Gravatar
    January 21st, 2013 at 5:32 pm

    Why not have new names and numbers in the rafters but not have the numbers “retired” ?


  5. Adam RyanNo Gravatar
    January 21st, 2013 at 5:42 pm

    Hey there – thanks for linking to my podcast interview with Dennis Hopson. I enjoyed our conversation thoroughly. He is a great guy and I was honoured to chat with him.

    I too hope his number ends up in the rafters, where it truly belongs.


    WVaBuckeyeNo Gravatar
    January 22nd, 2013 at 6:44 am

    Adam, Dennis told me he really enjoyed doing your podcast and it will go a long way in letting people get a feel for how he is with regards to his past in basketball! There are a lot of people who don’t know what he accomplished, and then had to deal with a bad NBA coach


    Adam RyanNo Gravatar
    January 22nd, 2013 at 6:51 am

    Thanks for the update and feedback. You can tell Dennis, I thoroughly enjoyed our conversation – I felt it important to let people know just how good a player he was in his playing days. He could light it up on the highest level!

    Again, thanks!



  6. WVaBuckeyeNo Gravatar
    January 21st, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    Thanks everyone. I agree we will keep on this and keep the hammer down. Already working on Ts for the Nuthouse again.

    Paul. It is my belief that they can make everybody happy by putting jerseys in the rafters above the court much like Duke and UNC. A lot of schools do it and we have a very rich tradition.


    KenNo Gravatar
    January 21st, 2013 at 7:47 pm

    Well, I’m for making everyone happy with this. Sounds like a reasonable approach.


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