Ohio State Football Forum

Ohio State Football Forum

Ohio State football talk.

The need for a statue in honor of Chic Harley

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

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: [email protected] 

----------------------------

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: [email protected]

Kind regards, Daniel 

You'll need Skype CreditFree via Skype
BroJim's picture

Daniel, 

Thanks for working to keep our history strong. We all take pride in the tradition at The Ohio State University, it's time we further cultivate our tradition of remembering the greats. 

I season my simple food with hunger

+2 HS
Seattle Linga's picture

We need more memorabilia in and around the campus and I think the more we have the more we won't forget.

+3 HS
Il_Padrino's picture

Thanks guys for the responses.  I feel that this is important for many reasons, primarily because  if a man of Chic Harley's caliber can be forgotten despite all he did for Columbus, College Football, The University, and The Buckeyes, then who's to say that we to won't be so easily forgotten?  This is a frightening concept for many to understand or embrace for we all think we will be "remembered" but the mere fact that it hasn't even been that many years since Harley's passing and the modern Buckeye "fans" do not know of him or the impact the 1916 to 1919 Buckeyes made. 

Here are some of my Ohio State items, I keep them organized on Flickr, let me know if you have issues viewing:

You must copy the ENTIRE link and paste it in to your browser:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/105190448@N06/

Here are the items broken in to sets: http://www.flickr.com/photos/105190448@N06/sets/

Living the life!  Go Buckeyes!

BroJim's picture

To be honest I had no idea who Chic Harley was before your post.

I think a statue is a good starting point, but it’s not enough. If you want people to value and take pride in our history it has to be taught. The statue will only serve as a reminder to a few and maybe a small number will stop and read the plaque at Chic’s feet. We need the University to teach the fans, students, and student-athletes about those who came before them.

You have a great collection of memorabilia. You are a wonderful public historian, thank you for sharing and raising awareness about Chic!

I hope the statue goes up soon!

I season my simple food with hunger

+2 HS
Seattle Linga's picture

Not hating Jim just curious - and I ask this question because you've never heard of Chic - are you in your 20's? 

He was an amazing student and player and he really helped us cement us who we are today

+1 HS
BroJim's picture

Yes.

I season my simple food with hunger

Seattle Linga's picture

Just a little before time - thanks

BroJim's picture

Ha- I'm trying.

I season my simple food with hunger

Il_Padrino's picture

Jim,

No worries, many people have never heard of Harley and it is understandable because he played nearly 100 years ago.  I kindly ask that you (and others) research the amazing teams from the beginning of what is now one of the premier college football teams in the World.  There are several great books on the subject: "Chic: The Extraordinary Rise of Ohio State Football and the Tragic Schoolboy Athlete who made it happen.", "Columbus Discovers Football", and to simply understand the massive difficulty of early college football in general, there is an amazing book about Oberlin College when Heisman was the coach there: "When Oberlin was King of the Gridiron: The Heisman Years". 

Welcome to the Harley fan club.  Kindly look at the many other greats that played and coached for our beloved Buckeyes: Coach Wilce, Pete Stinchcomb, etc.

Dan

Living the life!  Go Buckeyes!

rbesr's picture

I've often wondered why no statue to Chic was ever erected. Thanks for bringing this up.

+2 HS
krodawg's picture

Very happy to support this.

Email sent.

+1 HS
Il_Padrino's picture

Our history is extensive and if you are a fan of The OSU then you simply must make an effort to give credit to those that came before.  For those that are not aware, The OSU first played football (organized as a team) in 1890. 

 

 

 

 

Living the life!  Go Buckeyes!

krodawg's picture

Padrino, I heard back from tOSU Athletic Office re: the email I sent this past weekend. Copied below. Who knows, with more voices perhaps a statue around the "house that Chic built" may actually become reality.

------------------------

Your letter was sent on to Athletics from Interim President Joseph Alutto's office.

We appreciate your thoughts and passion about Ohio State football and Chic Harley.
Our historic Ohio State football program enters into its 125th year this season.
We have several opportunities and special events and presentations that we have started to propose. 
And yes, Chic Harley is one that has been targeted for recognition.
Once we have completed our planning, we will circle back with you to communicate our events for the year.
Thanks again for bringing this to our attention.
Sincerely,
Diana Sabau
 

+1 HS
Il_Padrino's picture

Krodawg,

I also heard back from them, how fantastic it was to hear from the office.  I'm certain they are overwhelmed with emails, phone calls, etc on a daily basis and to have taken a few minutes to respond with the information provided in both emails is outstanding.  Just another reason why I enjoy being an Ohio State supporter and all things The OSU.

Thanks, take care.

 

 

Living the life!  Go Buckeyes!

Il_Padrino's picture
Here are a few of my items:  
This ticket and program represent the ONLY loss of Chic Harley's three years of football at The OSU (1916, 1917, and 1919 seasons).  Unfortunately for the 1919 Buckeyes, this was their last game of the season and Harley took the loss so hard that he wept midfield as time expired because he blamed himself for the loss even though it was not.  He remained in the locker room until past midnight that night and some say he was never the same again.  

 

Living the life!  Go Buckeyes!

+1 HS
Seattle Linga's picture

For 2.25 back then you'd get a program and a seat for the game - how awesome would that be?

+1 HS
andretolstoy's picture

I was always a proponent of renaming Ohio Stadium to "Chic Harley Stadium". If this is too much, then add the qualifier "Ohio Stadium - Chic Harley Field"

If we're historically accurate. It should be Harley Stadium and "Old Ohio Field"

+1 HS
Ludwig Yards's picture

Good stuff. Harley is and will always be my favorite Buckeye player because of his importance to what OSU football is today. Would it still have grown to become what it is today without Chic? Perhaps. But if Ohio Stadium is the "House that Harley Built" seems there should be something present to indicate that.

+2 HS
SA CARPENTER's picture

If there was ever a story destined to be made into a motion picture…this is it! Ohio State and Michigan share between them what ESPN voted to be “the greatest rivalry in all of sport.” “Chic” (if I might be so bold as to give the movie a title) is exactly what Bob Hunter so eloquently describes in his book…a love story.

A love story about a town and its football hero. With such backstories as the building of Ohio Stadium (The House That Harley Built), the beginnings of what would become the Big Ten Conf., the beginnings of the Chicago Bears and the NFL, and with WWI as a back drop…it’s a story that screams to be made into a major motion picture.

I know, for a fact, that this story can be adapted for the screen.

Having already written a spec. script for the endeavor I’m proposing. This story, I can assure, is as good as “Rudy” or “The Blind Side.” Columbus and Ohio State have an opportunity to do something that most universities, and the city in which they reside, can only dream of!

Bob Hunter’s book “CHIC: The Extraordinary Rise of Ohio State Football and the Tragic Schoolboy Athlete Who Made it Happen” has been described, “as a near cinematic tale.” Todd Wessel wrote on the very last page of his book “The One and Only”, “maybe someday the university Chic loved so much will christen a more appropriate memorial of its own.”

The year 2015 will mark the 100 year anniversary of Harley’s first year at Ohio State. The year 2019 marks the 100 year anniversary of Ohio State’s first defeat of Michigan and the beginning of one of college football’s greatest rivalries.

It’s time we recognize Harley for his accomplishments and give him that “more appropriate memorial.”

Yes, it’s time for Ohio State’s “Rudy” to be made!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

YEA CHIC, YEA OHIO,

SA CARPENTER

Log in to Reply

SA CARPENTER

+1 HS
Il_Padrino's picture

Hey SA, it's Dan (we've been dialoging via email of late).  Glad to see you on here!  AMEN TO WHAT YOU SAID!

Also, on the book front, pick up a copy of "Columbus Discovers Football" by Dick Johnson (yes, his real name).  It was made in 1972 and limited to 1,000 copies, they can be had for a decent price still (under $30) from amazon.

Take care, Dan

Living the life!  Go Buckeyes!

Il_Padrino's picture

Thought we'd revisit this to garner some more support.  I'm told there is going to actually be a statue placed in the Chic Harley Memorial Garden: http://chicharleygarden.org/

I still feel there is a need for a statue at the stadium, he was instrumental in The Shoe being built. 

Living the life!  Go Buckeyes!

Tater_Schroeder's picture

I'm 27 and I must assuredly knew about Chic Harley growing up. This was in no consequence due to the university, but because my parents and brothers discussed Ohio State football history at home. I would be a huge fan of the university doing more outreach to educate its fans on its athletic past.

I would certainly back a statue of Chic on campus. Something subtle, because I dispise things gaudy and generic.

One of Ohio State's slogans is But For Ohio State. And I ask you, But For Chic Harley?

How Firm Thy Friendship

+1 HS
Il_Padrino's picture

Your parents done you right kid. 

Living the life!  Go Buckeyes!

airbuckeye's picture

I think this is a great idea Ohio Stadium - Chic Harley Field plus maybe a Heisman Statue walk of Fame and the Coaches Hall of fame inside the Shoe.

+1 HS