Buckeye Greats Honor William White with 2019 Inspiration Award


COLUMBUS, Ohio — A tremendous lineup of former Ohio State Buckeye coaches and athletes gathered to honor William White Tuesday night.

White, a former cornerback for the 1984-1987 team, received the 2019 Inspiration Award from inTeam, a faith-based organization affiliated with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA).

Founder of inTeam JD Bergman, a champion wrestler with Ohio State University and the US Olympic team, told the audience: “Through inTeam, you can meet this generation where they are – on their phones – with relatable, encouraging and authentic content.  Our database provides a a safe place on the internet for youth and millennials looking for direction and hope.”

Bergman provided statistics that show when teens spend five hours a day or more on their phones, 70 percent of them are more likely to commit suicide – that’s one American teenager every 100 minutes.

“We’re in a battle for the hearts, minds and lives of this generation…anxiety, depression, suicide, digital dementia, mounting social pressures – we’ve been losing our kids.”

InTeam helps athletes, coaches and influencers create inspiring videos to share online. White was chosen by inTeam for the 2019 Inspiration Award because he’s a famous Buckeye athlete with an amazing story of faith in the midst of adversity. White has ALS, but it doesn’t slow him down. His story influences student athletes around the globe.

Coach Urban Meyer was head coach of The Ohio State Buckeye football team from 2011 through the Rosebowl in 2019. He honored White as an example of the real “brotherhood” that exists within OSU sports.

“When a man’s in need, what do you do?” Meyer asked. “You come to the man in need. That’s what it’s like here.”

In a lighter moment, Meyer also shared the job description for an Ohio State football coach: beat the team up north; win every other game; graduate every player; get everyone drafted into the NFL in the first two rounds.

On a more serious note, Meyer talked about “solving the mystery.”

“What is the mystery?” he asked. “Want to be a great husband? Put your wife first. Want to be a great parent? Put your children first. Want to be a great teammate? Put your teammates first. Always put others ahead of yourself. That’s the kind of guy William White is, always putting others first.”

White’s former teammate and close friend Chris Spielman spoke as well. “What am I?” he asked. “I’m a friend of William White!  No matter the outcome, we will never stop, we will never surrender, until we defeat ALS!”

Kyle Snyder, an OSU wrestler, the youngest American world champion and youngest Olympic gold medalist, was the 2018 Inspiration Award winner. He helped Bergman present this year’s award to White. Along with the award, White received a check for $10,000 to fight ALS.

“What’s your mission for God now?” White was asked. “God gave me ALS so I can travel the world and help the less fortunate with ALS.”

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Beth Lear is a reporter at The Ohio Star.  Follow Beth on Twitter.  Email tips to [email protected].







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