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The need for a statue in honor of Chic Harley

Il_Padrino's picture
March 14, 2014 at 1:07pm

I am an avid historian of The OSU football, have an extensive collection of pre-1930 items, and have read, studied, and analyzed the early beginnings of our team.  I would like your help in growing interest in the placement of a statue in the honor of one of, if not the, greatest Buckeye player in our history.   Although Harley's jersey number (#47) is retired on the Ring, a statue honoring his impact on the early growth of Ohio State Football is warranted.  For those of you wondering "who is Chic Harley", I kindly ask that you view "Lost Legend: The Chic Harley Story" DVD done by Dean Carnevale, read the books "Chic: The extraordinary rise of Ohio State Football and the tragic schoolboy athlete who made it happen" by Bob Hunter OR "Columbus Discovers Football" by Dick Johnson, or do a google search on him and you will soon discover the enormous impact he made on what has become our team today.

I am providing a copy of some of the history of Harley and is a direct copy of the email that was sent to the President of The OSU and I kindly ask that you all do the same.  His email address is: president@osu.edu 


Dear Sir,

I kindly ask that you review the following email and take in to consideration what I am asking.  This is in regard to the very team so many root for each Fall, follow extensively during Spring ball, and simply embrace as a part of our lives and a team that would most likely not exist had it not been for the Coach John Wilce led 1916 to 1919 Ohio State Buckeye teams and in particular the play of Chic Harley.

1916 Ohio State vs. Wisconsin, it has been stated that this was Chic Harley’s “coming out” game where he accounted for all 14 of OSU’s points that day, it was homecoming, and the crowd numbered 12,500 making it the largest crowd to ever see an Ohio State game.  Coming in to the game the Badgers had outscored their opponents 91-10 and were considered “sure locks” to beat the young Buckeyes; but Buckeye coach John Wilce had other plans and held practice until dark each evening in preparation for the November 4th contest between the two undefeated teams; Ohio State (3-0) vs. Wisconsin (4-0).  Ohio State finished the season undefeated (7-0) and won their first Western Conference Championship and in the process set the record (which still stands today) for the most points scored against an opponent 128-0 vs. Oberlin College.

1919 Ohio State vs. Michigan.  Prior to 1919 the Buckeyes had not fared so well and had lost 13 games and tied twice.  Since 1919 “The Rivalry” has Ohio State vs. Michigan nose to nose with OSU posting 46 victories, UM 45 victories, while sharing four ties.  Chic Harley made a huge impact in the game by intercepting four passes and scoring all points on offense.  Following the Buckeyes' 13-3 win, the legendary Michigan head coach Fielding H. Yost asked for and was granted a rare moment to address the Ohio State team and stated "You deserve your victory, you fought brilliantly.  You boys gave a grand exhibition of football strategy and while I am sorry, dreadfully sorry, that we lost, I want to congratulate you. And you, Mr. Harley, I believe, are one of the finest little machines I have ever seen."

1919 Ohio State vs. Illinois.  Chic Harley’s final college game and the 1919 OSU Homecoming.  Subsequently the last game of Chic Harley’s Ohio State career that resulted in his only loss while playing three seasons for the Buckeyes (1916, 1917, and 1919).  It has been stated that Harley was absolutely devastated, took all the blame for the loss, and remained in the locker room until well past midnight.  Center Fritz Holtkamp wrote “Chic Harley… was as wonderful in defeat as he had been after his many victories.  The only difference was that in defeat he took all the blame for the loss, while in victory all his praise was for the other man”.

When Harley was finished playing at Ohio State the Buckeyes had only one loss over his three seasons, Ohio State's first consensus first-team All-America selection and first three-time All-America selection, he became a charter inductee in the College Football Hall of Fame in 1951, was critical in Ohio State’s first victory over Michigan, and through his play the new Ohio Stadium aka “The Shoe” or “The Horseshoe” was finished shortly after Harley’s last game at a total cost of $1.49 million and stood as the largest poured concrete structure in the world.

A statue of Charles “Chic” Harley to accompany his retired jersey number on the ring of honor is befitting for such an amazing and special player who made such a vast impact upon our Buckeyes, the city of Columbus, and the legacy that continues even until today.


If you have any questions, please contact me directly at: delsass2000@yahoo.com

Kind regards, Daniel 

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