Ship Happens

By Kyle Rowland on November 9, 2012 at 9:22p

The pomp and circumstance surrounding the Carrier Classic onboard the USS Yorktown was akin to the Final Four. But condensation on the court as tipoff neared put a damper on the festivities. 

The masses trying to clean the court.

An hour after the initial delay, Mike Whalen, director of Morale Entertainment, decided the risks of playing weren’t worth it. Ultimately, the health of the student-athletes was the reason for the cancellation.

Several Marquette players slid from near half-court to the three-point line just prior to the scheduled 7 p.m. tipoff. The only area of the court affected was the end nearest to the ocean.

Volunteers working at the game, Ohio State and Marquette team managers and even players from both teams helped towel off the floor. But after another 20-minute runoff the condensation had not dissipated.

A contingency plan was comprised prior to the event, but it was too late to execute it. If inclement weather was in the forecast, the teams were going to play at the Citadel, located less than 15 miles from the Yorktown.

The Ohio State and Notre Dame women’s teams played at 4 p.m. and had minor issues with slippery spots on the court. Ohio State lost, 57-51.

Whalen said the warm, sunny day actually contributed to the problems for the men’s game. Because the court warmed up so much, the moisture was produced much more easily when the sun went down.

On Wednesday night, it rained in the greater Charleston area and the floor was not covered.

Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith and Marquette athletic director Larry Williams said the two schools are not likely to make up the game this season at a different venue. They did leave the door open for a future game between the schools, though.

“We’ll always have ongoing discussions for two great basketball teams to get together,” Williams said.

Smith said he doesn't believe Ohio State will add a game at any point this season to make up for the no contest. 

Whalen said he didn’t know if refunds would be given for the tickets that were purchased, though he added almost 90 percent of the 4,500 tickets were given away as part of the Wounded Warrior Project.

To have the opportunity to play onboard the USS Yorktown taken away was a disappointment for the players and coaches. Point guard Aaron Craft, who has an older brother serving in Afghanistan, said being able to play in the Superdome for the Final Four followed by an aircraft carrier was tough to top.

Columbusite Rob Tackett, an 11-year solider.

“We’re definitely disappointed not being able to play,” he said. “We were geared up. We got the juices flowing in warmups.

“But we got to spend time with people that are serving. We can’t be too disappointed about not playing the game. We’re thankful and blessed.”

While the team was still in Columbus, Matta gave some orders of his own to Ohio State. He told them that when they came in contact with soldiers to look them in the eye and give them the utmost respect.

“This guy next to me (Craft), you don’t think he knew he was playing for something bigger,” Matta said. “He didn’t want to leave the court.”

Following Marquette’s practice on the ship Friday, Buzz Williams raved about the event and what it meant to be a part of.

“This is one of the top five things I’ve ever done in my life,” he said. “I think it's something our guys will always cherish. It’s bigger than winning and losing.”

Matta also believed there was a larger purpose to the event. Two college basketball games were only a small piece to what Morale Entertainment organized the past two days.

“I felt like we would have a pretty good gauge (on how good Ohio State is), but after yesterday’s practice the wind was howling and I said to myself, 'this could be ugly.'

“Ultimately, we brought down nine service people. Eight of them were in our film room last night. I can’t explain what that meeting was like for them, to sit in there and take pictures with players and meet the players. We didn’t play tonight, but I know this, the purpose was served.”

Said Williams: “The game was secondary.”

Ohio State opens the season against Albany in Value City Arena at 2 p.m. Sunday.


Comments Show All Comments

johnblairgobucks's picture

ESPN2 just showed some highlights of OSU's failed game attempt. 
Showed Marquette players towling the floor.
Showed OSU players sitting on the bench.
said.."....Ohio State players watching Marquette players do all the work....". 

Tim's picture

Wow, that's irritating. The osu players helped dry the court too (albeit slightly after the Marquette players but still), but in hindsight, the main point is poor planning/weather conditions.

KE's picture

Condensation happens when warmer moist air encounters a cooler court surface, like when basketball courts are put over hockey ice. A sunny day that warms the court would help prevent condensation, not cause it. The court cooled off when the sun went down, and water vapor from the warmer humid air from the ocean condensed on the cooler court surface.

buckeye1007's picture

thank you...twice degreed in engineering from OSU, I still doubted myself because I read the explanation on the INTERNET.  Man.  Craft wanted to play.

NW Buckeye's picture

KE, you are quite correct.  What they needed was a heated court - just like a rear window defogger, to keep the court dry.  The court may have heated up during the day, but as soon as the sun went down the coolness of the ship dictated the temperature of the court.  Anything placed on that deck would be cooled by it.  The only way to prevent that is to put heating elements in the floor. 

B1G 10 Buckeye Stuck in SEC Country's picture

The Marquette players did step up once it was obvious the 4 guys trying to dry the floor off weren't going to be enough.  Marquette's coach was out there too.  I was a bit disappointed when no one from the Buckeyes was out there to help...Eventually, a few players did get some towels and start to help but it was a good 5-10 minutes later...On a positive note many of the Buckeyes hung around after to take pictures and sign autographs...

" Life is hard; it's harder if you're stupid." - John Wayne 

Squirrel Master's picture

I wouldn't be surprised if Matta told his players there is no point to use the towels. They toweled like crazy the whole floor. It did nothing and wasn't going to. condensation doesn't go away by wiping it. Whenever I try to wipe the condensation from my windshield, it comes right back unless I turn on my defrost. Same would probably go for the court. Craft probably knew that. 

I saw a UFO told me to have a goodyear!

Abe Froman's picture

Don't forget that when the Marquette players left, the OSU players stayed around for a little dunking to give the remaining people something to see.  Also it was the Marquette side of the floor that was wet and the towels came out after introductions were made (OSU would be invading their side).

Basking in the wake of mediocrity.....

Ashtabula's picture

No one is saying Ohio State was wrong for not toweling off the floor, just that as Marquette's players began, it looked like we were too good for "janitor duties".  Of course, the only reason Marquette's players started was because their head coach was already on the floor wiping.  Buzz Williams is going to be a great coach...reminds me a ton of a younger Bill Self during his Tulsa days.

Squirrel Master's picture

Also just announced, Shabazz Mohammad is ineligible for an undisclosed amount of time. Not sure what amateur rule he broke but I kind of had a feeling something wasn't right going on out there at UCLA. That was a huge haul they got. Almost as good as UK. Just didn't seem kosher.

I saw a UFO told me to have a goodyear!

Triv's picture

It actually wasn't anything UCLA did wrong. Shabazz broke an amaturism rule (meaning he did something that makes him not eligbile to play in college, i.e. agent or something of the sort). 

Sorry Urban, Woody is still my favorite

Squirrel Master's picture

Sure UCLA had nothing to do with it? Not so much the coach but a booster who could be an agent? I know its conspiracy theory but where there is smoke...
Ben Howland was on the hot seat and then he comes away with a recruiting class that can rival UK? Sounds a bit like a Nick Nolte movie if you ask me. 

I saw a UFO told me to have a goodyear!

DetroitBuckeye's picture

According to Cbs Sports he took Travel and Lodging (against ncaa rules apparentley) from Duke and Unc but of course no press about this.

tennbuckeye19's picture

It wasn't from Duke and UNC, he was given money for travel and expenses from a family "friend" to take unofficial visits to those schools. The schools had nothing to do with it.

DetroitBuckeye's picture

My mistake, I misread the article he accepted the money while visiting those institutions though.  Obviously it's never directly from a school.

LouGroza's picture

The Florida/Georgetown game has been suspended due to condensation. They're done too but calling it suspended. Possibly resuming at a later date?

VHX7's picture

Well that's 2/3 carrier games that have gotten called. Good luck to the organizers of the Syracuse vs. SDSU game on Sunday, which has already been postponed once.

LouGroza's picture

Yeah that is such wasted effort and expense that there has to be another way to accomplish the same thing for the service folks in the future.

ShowThemOhiosHere's picture

That sucks.  The Carrier Classic idea is an interesting idea, but something tells me that in November, it's going to be hard to pull off.  They did it last year in San Diego.  Might be a smart move to do it on a sunny afternoon as opposed to a night game, especially when the temps can dip into the 40's.

Class of 2010.

bukyze's picture

Completely agree that the games should be played in the early to mid afternoon.  Dang, it isn't rocket science to know that these condensation issues are a significant possibility in the fall season.  I hope they just exercise some common sense next year.

Terwilligins's picture

They should just go streetball style on the original ship deck. Less cost/effort and I have to think those things are designed for traction. Would be sweet to watch too.

Kalamazoo Steve's picture

Untill Craft or D Train blows a knee.

bukyze's picture

What would make them more likely to blow a knee on the original ship deck? 

BuckeyeChief's picture

Hell yeah it would; they are coated in non-skid!

"2014 National with it!!!"

Kalamazoo Steve's picture

Kyle had me at 'ship happens'.

DetroitBuckeye's picture

Really disappointing, I really wanted to see not necessarily our star players because I knew what I would get with them but our role players/unknowns.  Ross, Williams, Thompson mostly.

yrro's picture

Craft was out helping to dry the court. 

RB's picture

The whole event was a comedy of errors.  Total BS about 90% of the tix being given away, MAYBE 50%, but it looked like many more civilian fans than servicemen, all dropping $500 to watch a shit show unfold.  
Craft is the man though. Entire delay he wouldn't stop shooting buckets.  Entire team hit the lockeroom during delay, and craft was going around the arc and back with Jent.  Cool seeing Jent launching sweet looking 3's again.
to summarize: Awesome idea for awesome cause executed by morons.

thatlillefty's picture

Our tax dollars hard at work... btw, sounds like you saw more than what was shown on television. Were you there?

b_pbucksfans's picture

I don't really care if OSU players were wiping the court down. What i care about was that OSU players stayed out 90% of the delay, putting on a show for the men and women who serve our country. Marquette players went back to the locker room 10 minutes into the delay and i didn't see them come back. Did ESPN show that?

Ashtabula's picture

Valid point, but what looks team on their hands and knees wiping the floor while the other stands around and watches or one team dunking in pre-game while the other team is in the locker room?
Marquette took advantage of this opportunity to show off some of the principles their program is built on and Ohio State "slipped up" (pun intended).

tennbuckeye19's picture

The game didn't happen and it wouldn't have mattered if Gene Smith, Thad Matta, and the OSU players and staff all had gotten on their hands and knees to help wipe the court. Read whatever you want into Marquette wiping the court and OSU not, I don't care. In my opinion players and coaches should not have had to wipe up the court anyway.

Earle's picture

Physics FTW!

Have you tried Not Your Father's Root Beer?  It tastes just like the real thing, but it packs a punch (5.9%ABV).  It's a little sweet for me though.  Two is my limit.

fartymcpooperson's picture

A little late, but WTH, I've been busy.  Condensation ....

Into the garbage chute, flyboy!