Ivan Douglas, a former Ohio State football player who was a member of the 2002 national championship team, has died, his former teammate Chukwuemeka Onyejekwe announced on social media. He was 41 years old. Douglas, who played offensive line for the Buckeyes, was battling COVID-19 at the time of his death. Onyejekwe said that Douglas was in the ICU in a medically induced coma. A GoFundMe page was set up by Douglas' family as he was in the hospital.
"Ivan Douglas (also known as ID) is a loving husband, father of 2 boys (3 and 1years old), son and friend to many," the GoFundMe page reads. "He is an Ohio State Alumni and former OSU football player and a 2002 OSU champion. ID has a giving spirit and is a people person; he meets no strangers. Due to his 6ft 7 in stature and calm demeanor we lovingly call him a gentle giant. ID is the bread winner for his family & currently employed as a Social Worker to help children in crisis."
Douglas was admitted to the hospital on Sept. 22. The GoFundMe page said when Douglas arrived at the hospital he "was purple in color and his oxygen level was at 63%." The doctors told the family that if Douglas "had not come to the hospital when he did he would have died."
Douglas arrived at Ohio State in 1999. After being a key reserve in 2000, Douglas missed the entire 2001 season due to a blood clot in his lung, according to Sports Illustrated. In 2002, Douglas started 12 games at left tackle. However, he suffered another blood clot the following summer which ended his career. In 2004, attempted to play in the NFL as he attended Oakland Raiders' minicamp for a tryout.
"It was pretty frustrating, but then again, it's also motivation," Douglas said to the Press Democrat at the time. "Because you know that you played right next to these guys. You have as much talent as these guys. I actually looked at it as a point where God's kind of asking me, 'If you really want to do this, then you'll have to put a little more into it than everybody else did to prove that you want it.' " Douglas spent the last five years working as a social worker with the Cuyahoga County Department of Children and Family Services. He is survived by his wife, Lauren, and two young children, Mason and Greyson.