Bush asks Buckeyes to be role models

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 25, 2003

''I guarantee you there's a bunch of junior high kids in the state of Ohio wondering what it's like to be a champion,'' Bush said Monday, with Ohio State's team standing behind him.

Portland's women's soccer team and Southern California's women's volleyball team also were present at the White House, as was UCLA's men's soccer team.

''I know there's a lot of young ladies who are growing up wondering whether or not they can be champs,'' Bush said.

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''And they see the championship teams from USC and University of Portland here, girls who worked hard to get to where they are, and they're wondering about the example they're setting.''

It was a familiar message from Bush, who exhorts winning teams that visit him to be good role models.

''You're a champ on the field, and now you have a great opportunity to be a champion off the field, by setting good examples, by showing people that there is such thing as a compassionate society,'' Bush said.

Bush ribbed his brother Jeb, the governor of Florida, who delivered on his losing Fiesta Bowl bet Sunday, donning an Ohio State football jersey for part of a session at the National Governors Association meetings in Washington. Jeb Bush was on the losing end of a bet with Ohio Gov. Bob Taft after the Buckeyes beat Miami 31-24 in last month's Fiesta Bowl for the national championship.