Lantern file photo
Former Ohio State running back Eddie George is coming back to campus.
George, who won the 1995 Heisman as a Buckeye before playing professionally for nine seasons, will serve as assistant vice president for business advancement, according to a Tuesday university press release.
In such a capacity, George will “work with multiple internal and external university constituencies to increase awareness of health and wellness initiatives, support the efforts to engage alumni and friends in the life of the university, assist with fundraising, alumni relations and communications for Ohio State, and work with student-athletes as determined by the athletics director.”
Additionally, George, who was a four-time Pro Bowl selection with the Tennessee Titans from 1997-2000, will “support personalized medicine initiatives, sports business education and work with student-athletes on personal and professional development.”
OSU spokeswoman Gayle Saunders said George began his role with the university in November.
“He has been onboarding, meeting with members of the advancement team and others with whom he will work and getting acclimated to the role,” Saunders said in an email.
Saunders said George will make $220,000 annually and will report to Jeff Kaplan, OSU’s senior vice president for development and executive officer to university President E. Gordon Gee.
George, who’s a member of the College Football Hall of Fame, said working with OSU is a “privilege.”
“I am grateful to have the opportunity to apply what I’ve learned from my academic and football journey while at the university, along with the work I’ve been doing in the world of business, to support the transformative initiatives happening at my alma mater,” George said in a released statement.
In 2001, George graduated from OSU with a degree in landscape architecture before earning his MBA at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management in 2009.
George is currently working as an analyst for FOX Sports and was still working for the company as recently as Saturday’s Big Ten Championship Game between Wisconsin and Nebraska.
Dan Bell, FOX Sports’ vice president of communications, said the company “just learned this week” of George’s new role at OSU.
“We will talk to him in the very near future to determine his future at FOX Sports,” Bell said.
Bell confirmed that George will work the outlet’s Cotton Bowl broadcast on Jan. 4.
Saunders said OSU supports George’s “media and other endeavors.”
“(He) has multiple interests outside of the university,” Saunders said. “The university expects him to manage his responsibilities here at the university just as we expect of all employees who balance work with other interests.”
Averie Bischak, a fourth-year in political science, said it’s an economically tactful move by the university.
“Bringing a guy like him in should do well to raise money,” she said. “I mean, recognition bias, right? People will spend for a name they recognize.”
Others, like Seth Schmackers, a third-year in logistics, was indifferent toward George’s return to OSU – especially if it doesn’t have to do with the sport that made him so famous.
“I guess it’s cool, but it’s not like he’s involved in football again,” he said. “I don’t really care that much, personally.”
Some embraced George’s move back to campus.
“It’s great Eddie’s coming back, regardless of what he does,” said Andrew Bialek, a fourth-year in mechanical engineering. “Scarlet and Grey bleeds deep. It’s nice to see a notable Buckeye make a return.”
Kristen Mitchell and Ryan Guenther contributed to this article.