Since he won’t be in attendance, the hall won’t show him any individual honors.
Hall of Fame Executive Director Joe Horrigan told the Talk of Fame Sports Network that Owens will not be named during the annual gold jacket ceremony Aug. 3 in Canton, Ohio, as well as the main ceremony the next day.
“The focus is on the guys who are here,” Horrigan said.
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Owens has planned his own celebration instead. He posted on his personal website July 3 that he will celebrate at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, where he played football and basketball.
“I’m proud to be a Moc, and I’m honored to share this experience with my family, friends, teammates and fans at the place that provided me an opportunity beyond high school and where I truly began to find myself as an athlete,” Owens wrote in a release on his website. “Thank you to everyone who has supported my celebration decision. ... Getcha popcorn ready!”
Owens’ public event is free and kicks off Aug. 4 at 12:17 p.m. PDT — well before the event in Canton, which starts at 4.
The hall will dedicate the time to honor the seven other members of the 2018 class.
“There’s no reason to bring (Owens) up as an individual, he’s not here,” Horrigan said.
The rest of the class consists of Bobby Beathard, Robert Brazile, Brian Dawkins, Jerry Kramer, Ray Lewis, Randy Moss and Brian Urlacher.
Owens played 15 NFL seasons, including his first eight with the 49ers. A six-time Pro Bowl and five-time All-Pro selection, the wide receiver finished with 1,078 catches, 15,934 yards and 153 touchdowns. He also played for the Buffalo Bills, Cincinnati Bengals, Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles, a team with which he appeared in his only Super Bowl.
While Owens won’t be there, he’s previously expressed gratitude for being named a Hall of Famer.
“I am thankful for the relationships forged and the lessons learned while part of each team,” he wrote on his website June 7. “I wish to congratulate all past, current and future inductees. It is quite an honor to be part of such elite company. This honor is something that I will cherish forever.”