Terrell Owens

Terrell Owens says he will accept Hall of Fame ring at Levi's Stadium

Terrell Owens says he will accept Hall of Fame ring at Levi's Stadium

Terrell Owens will make an official return to the 49ers’ home stadium this season to take part in an official Pro Football Hall of Fame ceremony.

Owens confirmed he will be at Levi’s Stadium on Thursday, Nov. 1, to accept his Hall of Fame ring during a halftime ceremony of the 49ers’ game against the Raiders.

Owens did not attend the induction ceremony in August in Canton, Ohio, as he chose to celebrate his election into the Pro Football Hall of Fame with a gathering at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, his alma mater.

The Hall of Fame on Wednesday announced dates that all eight inductees will receive their Hall of Fame rings. NBC Sports Bay Area asked Owens via text if he would attend the ceremony at Levi’s Stadium. He immediately responded, “I will.”

The Hall of Fame Ring of Excellence is one of three symbols of a person’s induction into the Hall of Fame, along with the gold jacket and the bronzed bust, which are presented during ceremonies during induction weekend.

Owens was voted into the Hall of Fame in his third year of eligibility. Owens was voted into the Pro Bowl six times in his 15-year career. He ranks second all-time behind Jerry Rice with 15,934 receiving yards and third in NFL history behind Rice and Randy Moss with 153 touchdown receptions.

How Charles Haley felt about Terrell Owens skipping Hall of Fame induction

How Charles Haley felt about Terrell Owens skipping Hall of Fame induction

Charles Haley was a key member of five Super Bowl championship teams with the 49ers and Dallas Cowboys.

Elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2015, Haley spoke this week on KNBR about Terrell Owens’ decision to skip the induction ceremony in Canton, Ohio, to instead celebrate this month at his alma mater, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

“My thought was there should’ve been more people reaching out to him instead of criticizing him because you don’t know what’s going on in this young man’s mind,” Haley said. “I feel like the world’s been against me most of my life, so I know the battles I have to fight just to maintain that people do care about me. I never judge another man.”

Haley and Owens both attended Dwight Clark’s memorial service at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, just prior to induction weekend at the Hall of Fame. They were teammates with the 49ers during the 1998 postseason and all of the ’99 season.

“I saw T.O. at Dwight Clark’s funeral, and I talked him and told him, ‘Hey, man, I don’t like what you’re doing to the Hall, but I’ll respect you. And when you come back to the Hall, I’ll be the first guy to hug you because we’re family. They can’t take it back. We’re family now,’ ” Haley said.

Owens got elected into the Hall of Fame in his third year of eligibility. Haley did not get elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame until his 11th year of eligibility. Haley’s wait can probably be traced to his actions off the field and his behavior in the locker room.

Haley does not hold any bitterness for his long wait. He said he used the induction ceremony to reward those closest to him, and he goes back to Canton annually to help him repair relationships and create new ones.

“I’ve been back every year, and I plan on going back every year,” Haley said. “Hey, it took what it took for me to get there. I’m telling you, I was so happy because at that point, my mom, who went to every game who drove, cried for me; all the coaches; all the players I played with; that was an opportunity to tell them, ‘Thank you.’

“It took all those people, the bad and the good, to make me the man I am. I wanted to give them their respect by letting them know how much I cared.”

Haley was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2002, three years after his NFL career ended. He is now a mental health advocate.

“By being in the Hall of Fame now, I get the chance to walk up to guys and say I regret some of the things I’ve done to hurt you,” Haley said. “That’s one of the biggest things in my life that I love about where I’m at now, I’m willing to go out of my way to let guys know my regrets of my actions.”

Former 49ers coach Steve Mariucci laments T.O's absence at induction

Former 49ers coach Steve Mariucci laments T.O's absence at induction

Terrell Owens chose to commemorate his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday at his alma mater, the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga. His second NFL head coach wished he hadn't.

Steve Mariucci, who now works as an analyst for NFL Network, coached the wide receiver with the San Francisco 49ers from 1996-2002. He said Owens deserved enshrinement into the Hall of Fame, but added he would have liked to see Owens take in the festivities from Canton, Ohio. 

"I only wish he were here with his family and friends, enjoying all of this emotion and praise and honor, and everything that he just won't be able to get in Chattanooga," Mariucci said on NFL Network's broadcast.  "But, he was appreciative. He was a great player, ... My last three years in San Francisco were his best years in the National Football League. He was first team All-Pro. He was such a dominating player. He had such big shoes to fill [for] Jerry Rice, and he did just that. So, congratulations to T.O. I wish you were here. Hopefully, next year you'll show up and enjoy it so these players can get to know you better."

Mariucci coached Owens longer than any other NFL coach, and told Niners Nation in 2016 that Owens' numbers left "no doubt" he belonged in the Hall of Fame. 

Owens doesn't seem to share the same feelings for his old coach. In January, he tweeted that Mariucci was the "absolute worst" coach he played for during his 15 years in the NFL.