Ohio State TE gets 'hate' mail for dropped TD pass

Updated: September 14, 2005, 1:54 PM ET
Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ohio State tight end Ryan Hamby has received a couple of hate letters since dropping a sure touchdown pass during the Buckeyes' loss to Texas last week.

Cutting over the middle into the end zone, Hamby was open when Justin Zwick's pass bounced off his chest and into the air. He had a second chance to grab it but was slammed by a defender just as the ball touched his hands.

A touchdown would have given Ohio State a 10-point lead in the third quarter. The Buckeyes ended up settling for a field goal and eventually lost 25-22 to Texas.

"I can't think about it too much because we still have a lot of football to play," he said as the ninth-ranked Buckeyes prepared for Saturday's game with San Diego State. "I'm not going to lie. I think about it some times. But you've just got to move on."

A senior from Cincinnati, Hamby said he had a sleepless night after dropping the pass.

"I just came open and, I don't know, it all happened so fast," he said. "I knew I caught the ball and it got knocked out of my hands. I was kind of laying there thinking, 'Man, I wish that didn't happen.' But it's part of life and you've got to deal with it."

Asked about the content of the letters, Hamby said, "I'm not going to talk about them, but they're just dumb things. You almost want to say, 'You know, in the scheme of life there are things going on around the world. It's just a game."'

Several of Hamby's teammates supported him Tuesday, saying that there were plenty of opportunities to win the game regardless of what happened on that one play.

"It kind of makes me upset that people would do that to him," linebacker Anthony Schlegel said. "I don't see them out there."

Hamby said he was doing his best to forget the play -- and the ugliness of the fans.

"I've thought about it and stuff and it's hard, but you've got to deal with it," Hamby said. "I've got my teammates, coach [Jim] Tressel -- everybody's behind me. So I'm not going to worry about it. We've got San Diego State and we've got to focus on that."

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press