In Praise of Gene Smith

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Byaaaahhh's picture

Yeah, that 2012 championship game makes me said because that was about the easiest championship in the last decade and there's no doubt in my mind we would have won if we got in. But it's important to take stock of what a good place OSU athletics is in. It's pretty incredible. 

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infantrybuck's picture

Botching 2012 is pretty unforgivable.  Bama was the best team that year, but under the old system, we would have gotten the nod and played ND.  I’ll take urban heads up over Brian Kelly 100 times out of 100.  As a buckeye hockey fan, Hiring Steve Rholick from within was the best thing he has done in my opinion as he is really under appreciated.. Ohio State shouldn’t be what their doing competing against all the history/tradition of the other BIG hockey programs, but they are and it’s a testament to him.

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NavyBuckeye91's picture

I hear this argument a lot, and I'm not convinced the Buckeyes win it so easily.  People seem to forget the 2012 team needed overtime to beat a Purdue team that went 6-7 and overtime to beat an 8-4 Wisconsin squad.  The Big Ten was down that season.

"You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, & in the manner in which you live.
So, live. Live. Fight like hell. And when you get too tired to fight then lay down and rest and let somebody else fight for you. "
- Stuart Scott

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BuckeyeAsylum's picture

Yeah but ND sucks, always sucks, and Brian Kelly doesn't scare me. ;)

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LCT's picture

Gene has done a great job here.  I'm all for getting fired up & blasting people in charge of stuff but folks miss the mark badly when they set their sights on him. 

Urban's far more blastable than Gene right now.

Lifetime vs. UM: L 8-1, C 7-0, T 4-0

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stxbuck's picture

This is true. Gene has done a bang up job on every hire he has made during his tenure, w/ the exception of the baseball coach who replaced Todd. The man keeps the plates spinning.

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analyticalguy's picture

I'm not sure a self-imposed bowl ban in 2011 would have been enough to appease the NCAA, when was then more than now willing to punish teams for infractions. The lack of eligibility to participate in a low-level 2011 bowl quite possibly wouldn't have seemed as harsh enough.

Although getting Meyer may have been a slam dunk given his Ohio (and tOSU) roots, and the hiring of Holtman may have seemed more like genius had Smith pulled the trigger on firing Matta earlier, he still had to finish the deal on both. And his success across the board in building the Buckeye brand, elevating the non-revenue-generating sports, and making/keeping the whole athletics program financially (and academically) successful all deserve praise.

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hodge's picture

"I'm not sure a self-imposed bowl ban in 2011 would have been enough to appease the NCAA, when was then more than now willing to punish teams for infractions. The lack of eligibility to participate in a low-level 2011 bowl quite possibly wouldn't have seemed as harsh enough."

So.  Much.  This.  Given the outrage, the NCAA was going to get their pound of flesh -- and, like it or not, a dogshit OSU team sitting out a dogshit bowl game would not have been enough for them.  It was a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situation.

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Roman Brutus's picture

THIS!! I think Smith did the correct thing regarding 2012. Hindsight is 20/20 and people rake him over the coals for it after the fact. However, there was no precedent for the NCAA doling out bowl suspensions over what happened with Tatgate and as it was said above, NCAA was out for blood at that time. 

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gumtape's picture

What is Dave Brandon up to? He ruined Michigan football and made Toys R Us file for bankruptcy. Yep, I am a fan of Gene Smith.

High and tight boo boo

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osu78's picture

But he had that great promo tie - in with Coca Cola...

Strive at all times to bend, fold, spindle and mutilate.

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McGrind's picture

Check out Dominoes stock since he left....

If you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear.

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BuckeyeAsylum's picture

Yeah, holy shit on that. I was working at Dominos during his years and hung out after hours plenty with the franchise owner. Man, that era was rough. Ever since though, things seem to be looking good for the company. My local domino store is a diff franchisee but they are killing it, I have not had a single problem in 2 years outside of an uppity manager once who didn't even know her product line, which is pretty insanely minor and could simply be a misunderstanding on her end than anything.

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FitzBuck's picture

Agreed.  Outside of 2011, he has done a great job.  

Fitzbuck | Toledo - Ohio's right armpit | "A troll by any other name is still a troll".

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tosubuckeye's picture

Much deserved Respect for Gene Smith!!!! GO BUCKS!!!!

tosubuckeye

 

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zeeman60657's picture

So far so good. However, I don't understand why he has not signed Urban Meyer to a contract extension. Only 3 years left on the current deal. Dabo and others will use it against us if not done soon.

Zeeman60657

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Duccivespucci's picture

That’s because Urban is going to be done after his contract ends. He’ll be 56, same age as Stoops. Ride off into the sunset. 

Michael

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Scarlatina's picture

Truthfully, I think you are right. Urban has said a few times that he does not want to coach his "golden years" away, and he wants to retire young enough that he can still have quality time running around with his grandchildren.

However, I do think Urban wants to win at least 1 more National Championships before he hangs it up for good. There was probably a part of Urban that originally wanted to catch up and pass Nick Saban, but with Saban getting his 6th ring that seems more and more unlikely now.

So my prediction is that if Urban wins another national championship within the 3 years left on his contract, he probably isn't going to re-sign. If Urban keeps falling short of the NC the next 3 years, he will probably sign 1 more contract extension.

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CarolinaBuck's picture

The resources Gene Smith has at Ohio State makes it virtually impossible to be a bad AD. In an article from last year, Chris Holtman was quoted as saying none of the schools that had contacted him were worth moving form Butler, "but if Ohio State called, then he would have to listen." Yes Gene Smith gets credit for Holtman, but it was Ohio State that drew the interest. To me, the black mark against Smith is the ease in which he sells and alters Ohio State traditions without any regard to the fans. His agreement to place Ohio State and Michigan in separate divisions during the whole Leaders and Legends fiasco and then to compound that stupid decision, he agreed to move the Michigan game all together to a week in October to remove any chance of back to back meetings for the B1G championship. The only thing that saved him from this yet announced bonehead decision was the out of nowhere addition of Rutgers and Maryland to the conference  and thus realign the divisions.. Another example is Smiths decision to sell off everything not nailed down to the highest bidder. Ohio Stadium used to be reserved to honor players and coaches that have accomplished remarkable things on the field, but now the stadium is lined with countles names of big donors. Lastly, his OK to changes the appearance of our team. Every other "king" of college football; respects their fanbase and doesn't insult them with hideous clown costumes when their teams play in rivalry games. Not Gene Smith and Ohio State though, he's made a mockery of the look of the game and for that he needs to be held accountable.

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osu78's picture

The flip side is he has assured we have the revenue to build great facilities for a lot of teams, hire top flight coaches and be on TV all the time. Yes, messing with the rivalry was a bad idea but it got fixed before it happened. As for the rest of those things, they, IMHO, helped keep the money flowing that is needed to be a top flight program. In the end, his instincts have proven correct.

Strive at all times to bend, fold, spindle and mutilate.

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BuckeyeIn NY's picture

Not Gene Smith and Ohio State though, he's made a mockery of the look of the game and for that he needs to be held accountable

Wow.  

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Icouldnotgofor3's picture

"The resources Gene Smith has at Ohio State makes it virtually impossible to be a bad AD."

BINGO............finally someone who gets it. FANTASTIC comment on a very "homerous" thread.....(is homerous even a word? if not, I take credit.....lmao)

Saban on a cart eating cold pizza

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BuckeyeIn NY's picture

"The resources Gene Smith has at Ohio State makes it virtually impossible to be a bad AD."

I am guessing there are a few Michigan fans who beg to differ.  See Dave Brandon,  

Sure, Gene has the resources.  But so does every other AD at a top institution,  

Saban, Dabo, urban have resources too.  So if you want to use that logic, there is no such thing as a good coach or AD, just good institutions with a lot of resources.  

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Icouldnotgofor3's picture

Saban on a cart eating cold pizza

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hodge's picture

"I am guessing there are a few Michigan fans who beg to differ.  See Dave Brandon..."

Shit, man.  That's nothing compared to how Bill Martin botched UM's pursuit of Les Miles.  From the linked article:

Bill Martin, Michigan's athletic director, had received permission Wednesday to talk to Miles after Saturday's Southeastern Conference title game, but he had not called to set up a meeting or schedule a phone call.

LSU, meanwhile, was pushing hard behind the scenes to keep Miles, offering a multi-year contract extension that would boost his pay by millions.

Forget all you've heard about secret deals using third-party intermediaries between Michigan and Miles. Bass said it's just not true.

Miles had no idea if Michigan really wanted him.

So Bass decided to ask.

He said he called Martin's cell phone on Friday and left a message. He just wanted to know where Miles stood.

Then, when he didn't hear back, the agent said he called Martin again.

"The (LSU) deal was so good that we couldn't just wait," Bass said via phone Tuesday. "I didn't know if we were one of the candidates in the pool at that time. There was just no communication."

Where was Martin? One source places him in Florida, at the Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo. Wherever he was, he didn't call back.

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Qujo's picture

Minions as your emoji - perfect fit for a simplistic viewpoint of how easy it must be to run an athletic department in D1. Of course I am sure you do it all the time so I will stand down.

"Tough times don't last, tough people do" - Gregory Peck

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Icouldnotgofor3's picture

Meh......and of course his support staff and admin deserve no credit.....I stand down as well...

Saban on a cart eating cold pizza

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LeftCoastBuckeye's picture

Texas would like a word with you.

My aim, then, is to whip the Weasels, to humble their pride, to follow them to their inmost recesses, and make them fear and dread us. Fear is the beginning of wisdom.   - William Tecumseh Sherman (with apologies)

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ShawneeBuck74's picture

Michigan, USC, Texas, Nebraska, ND, Miami, LSU... et al of the "big time" programs. would like to speak with you. They all have money and tradition...and all have struggled NOT ONLY in football but in all other major sports in the time Gene Smith has been our AD.  Dave Brandon set TTUN back a decade. 

We've had worse athletic directors here at tOSU. Facts are facts... he demands the best and hires the best. He's not perfect, but he's running the best outfit in the country. Texas has more money than OSU does and its own TV network. And we're superior to them. 

As far as "selling off" things to the highest bidder, "don't hate the player, hate the game." College football and bball are in an arms race. Do you want to be left in the dust?  It's the nature of "amateur" athletic$ now. While I don't prefer it, it is what it is. We could all give up our beloved Buckeyes and support Mount Union with our money, but we don't.  

Making a mockery of the game?  I'd rather be OHIO STATE wearing whatever the heck we want (even though I don't love alternates and prefer our more traditional uni's) than I would be MICHIGAN and suck at football and overpay a blowhard narcissist like Harbaugh. If anyone has made a mockery of THE GAME it's Michigan "athletics." 

Why is it so hard for people to give credit where credit is due?  What other schools would you rather be? What other AD would you rather have?

You win with people. 

And so forth...

9 Units Strong!

 

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Qujo's picture

The revenue coming in is as high as it has ever been allowing tOSU to have the largest number of division one athletic teams providding students to enjoy OSU beyond the traditional sports. Having said that, OSU's brand is as high as it ever has been and named the highest valued football program in all of the nation ($1.5b). Those things and the quality of coaching are worth evaluating the effectiveness of the AD. I'll take Smtih over any other AD anytime anywhere and any AD building their athletic programs to the level of OSU would need to consider some of the challenges OSU has faced as well. 

"Tough times don't last, tough people do" - Gregory Peck

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Go1Bucks's picture

Thanks CaroBuck. There are others that do agree with that sentiment.

Go Buckeyes!

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NorCal Buckeye's picture

"but if Ohio State called, then he would have to listen."

One big part of why the Ohio State job is such a big deal is because of all the accomplishments that others have listed above.  The huge and consistent success the athletic department has had is under his watch and he deserves credit.

Every other "king" of college football; respects their fanbase and doesn't insult them with hideous clown costumes when their teams play in rivalry games. 

This is hilarious because most every team has done it, even uniform "traditionalists" like Penn State and Texas.  It's not like the Buckeyes have have come out wearing something like this:

By the way, the whole Nike Uniform thing is not on Gene; Urban and the rest of the football staff manage the uniform process.

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aj99's picture

I hear you.  I know it's unpopular but I don't think he did anything great that was all that hard or that any- literally- any other AD would have done.  On the other hand as you point out he's done some things that are head scratchers.  Getting Holtman and Meyer were less about Gene than they were about the quality of the university.  I rate him as average.  He used his position to do what needed to be done.  He did some okay good things and some okay bad things.  Could have been worse.  Could have been better.  He certainly doesn't deserve his own thread...

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ShawneeBuck74's picture

I know it's unpopular but I don't think he did anything great that was all that hard or that any- literally- any other AD would have done.

That's wild speculation, and really not factual. Of course, the brand of OSU carries weight, so I get what you're saying. There are other big brands in college sports that didn't get Meyer or Holtman or Tom Ryan or Steve Rohlik or Rustam Sharipov or Kevin McGruff.  As I said above - brands that are equal in weight to OSU - Texas, Michigan, USC, Notre Dame, Nebraska, Oklahoma - as well as prominent schools like Miami, Florida, Florida State, Washington, LSU have ALL struggled not only in football but in other sports.  

Gene's body of work is impressive. Compared with his peers from top-tier schools (the big brands) - he's the best. So, I am unsure how he gets an average grade or doesn't deserve his own thread. I'm willing to listen to an evidence-based counter argument. I just haven't seen one yet on this thread. 

You win with people. 

And so forth...

9 Units Strong!

 

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aj99's picture

Please. Wild and not factual. Pull it together man. They were not in any way all equal to Ohio State. Did Urban Coach at the other schools?  Did Urban grow up in those states? Please man. Don’t say stupid crap like that and claim wild speculation and unfactual. That’s seriously the dumbest thing I’ve read all day. 

And speaking of facts, I don’t see you stating all the great things he’s done that no one else would have done.  Sounds like wild speculation my friend. 

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ShawneeBuck74's picture

First, the thread isn't only about Urban and there are other programs on par with Ohio State's brand. To say otherwise is ignorant of the landscape of college athletics. The fact that you think so only shows how good a job Gene Smith has done while outpacing TTUN, Texas, USC, and others.

Second, read not only what I wrote in response to you...but what I wrote in the OP and in this thread. I'm pretty sure those qualify as facts. Summary of Gene's tenure, since you probably won't go back and read what I wrote: 

+OSU athletics now highest valued at 1.5 billion

+OSU athletic facilities among the best in the nation thanks to Gene lead $45 million dollar projects like this one: http://www.cleveland.com/osu/2014/04/ohio_state_has_recently_invest.html

+Convinced Urban Meyer to replace a legend here Tressel

+Concinved Holtman to replace a legend here in Matta

+Fired a very good, winning, but not great Jim Foster and hired Kevin McGruff

+Hired Tom Ryan as wrestling coach

+Non-Revenue sports coaches under Gene winning championships regularly, including winning/competing for many National Championships: wrestling, pistol, synchronized swimming, men's volleyball, men's gymnastics, lacrosse, rowing, women's softball. 

Gene gets marked down for not self-penalizing OSU and skipping the bowl game after a 6-6 season.  He also needs to right the OSU baseball ship, which he will likely do this year.

Fact remains that out of all the big-time college athletics programs, Gene's led us to the top financially and competitively. No one else is comparable. Give the man his credit. 

You win with people. 

And so forth...

9 Units Strong!

 

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Chic'sGhost's picture

Look up Jim Jones and your view may change. Jones was the definition of a dunce. Smith is an incredible AD and leader, and OSU is lucky to have him. When he decided not to take a bowl ban in '11, the Bucks were 6-0. It was a very difficult call AND HE WOULD HAVE TAKEN SHIT NO MATTER WHAT HE DID. I don't blame him for that.

"You're welcome for the house I built."

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deflection's picture

This is factually NOT true. The Buckeyes were never 6-0 in 2011. Not even close actually.They were 3-3 on Oct 8th and 6-3 on Nov 5th. Failure to Monitor charge was handed down Nov 11, 2011 well before a bowl destination was chosen.

Please at least get the facts straight. I know it's hard to rationally defend the indefensible!

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Chic'sGhost's picture

My bad on the record and I appreciate the correction. Indefensible however, my position is not.

"You're welcome for the house I built."

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NavyBuckeye91's picture

The resources Gene Smith has at Ohio State makes it virtually impossible to be a bad AD.

I have only two words to say to this - Andy Geiger.

"You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, & in the manner in which you live.
So, live. Live. Fight like hell. And when you get too tired to fight then lay down and rest and let somebody else fight for you. "
- Stuart Scott

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stxbuck's picture

You are right that tOSU's situation places ANY coach or AD in a really good position. As Andy Geiger said of the hoops position when he was courting Thad Matta 'It's a gold mine, but you gotta mine for it".

Did the all gray uni's make the team look like something from GI JOE-COBRA-yes. Does that decision make Smith a "bad' AD...hardly.............

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Qujo's picture

The problem with many of the statements is there no way to prove someone could have done a better job. Have there been missteps by Gene, of course. But in the scheme of what has evolved at OSU athletics it would be hard to assume anyone could have done it as well as Gene. But if the post is about whether or not Gene Smith has done a top tier performance at OSU, the facts say yes and If people want to focus on those few missteps then so be it, but it clearly pales in comparison to his broader accomplishments especially when you compare him to his contemporaries at larger universities. Simple as that.

"Tough times don't last, tough people do" - Gregory Peck

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lamplighter's picture

Well done.

May have misread the NCAA about 2011, but overall has done an excellent job.

Who has it better?

This is a forum post from a site member. It does not represent the views of Lamplighter LLC unless otherwise noted.

peidiwch â ffycin gyda'r Cymry
 

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BTBuckeye's picture

All things OSU athletics considered, he's done a pretty good job imo. 

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buckeyeEddie27's picture

The post season ban motivated the '12 team. They won every game as a fuck you the NCAA and everyone else. I don't believe they do so without that motivation. Assuming the 2012 season has the same outcome with out that chip on the team's shoulder is a stretch.

I know there's a game Saturday, and my ass will be there.

I Believe In Ohio State.

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Nick's picture

I'll take the opposite view and say, almost anyone can run the OSU AD. Gene probably cost us a national championship in 2012 think of what the seniors on that team thought about it. They will have a "what if" their whole life. 

Similar to the paying players argument. Sure people come to watch you play, but the only reason they are coming to see you play  is because of that block O on your jersey.

TL;DR  OSU sells itself

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Chic'sGhost's picture

OSU sells itself? Ha! What a joke. The great ones make it LOOK easy. OSU didn't sell itself during the horrid Earle years or the end of the Cooper years. You think it was easy securing Meyer? Or Holtmann? Or Tom Ryan? Those are complex personal, professional and financial negotiations. You sound like a person who is unfamiliar with how damned hard it is to run a megalith like the OSU athletic department. Smith is a hell of an executive.

"You're welcome for the house I built."

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aj99's picture

It’s amazing to me that people think he’s done something special. He’s been an AD and a fine one. But please stop all the accolades. He’s made himself wealthy by hiring who the donors told him to hire and riding their coat tails. It’s not as if being an AD is all that complicated at a place like Ohio State. 

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mr.green's picture

What he needs to do to earn my further respect:

1) change ticket pricing so people in good seats pay more than people in D deck. 

2) get WiFi that works in the Shoe. This is 2018 

3) Be FIRST to complain when we are lined up for Friday  night games  by the conference. 

4) be a vocal opponent of SEC scheduling and quit the committee so that OSU is not hurt by his recusal the next time it comes up (and it will). 

5) give more help to club sports at OSU. Not everyone at OSU can play in D1 but these sports have some great players. Give them some $ and resources to thrive. We can be that university. 

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Nick's picture

1) People in good seats usually made a pretty big donation so they do pay more, just not for the ticket.
2) There is Wifi in the stadium but you need a .username to login to it and not much you can do about Wifi with 100,000 people trying to use it, simply not enough spectrum to make it fast enough
3) Agreed
4) Agreed

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Scarlatina's picture

1) People in good seats usually made a pretty big donation so they do pay more, just not for the ticket.

IIRC, when I got my alumni packet during graduation week, it had "donor levels" for football tickets. The highest grouping, which made you eligible for season tickets in the prime viewing sections, was a minimum donation of $25,000 a year.

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magruder80's picture

He does not oversee the clubs sports, he oversees the NCAA sports and club sports fall under the university guidelines.  Take up point 5 to Drake.

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IBLEEDSCARLETANDGRAY's picture

Say what you will about Gene, the guy is well-respected. He's served on both selection committees for the CFP and the Big Dance. You dont get asked to do that unless a lot of people think really highly of you. Of course I think him being on the CFP committee this year didnt help our chances and I wouldnt be sad to see him step down from it.

"You're the patron saint of the totally effed" - Hot Tub Time Machine

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BeaverOhioBuckeye's picture

I think he's did a pretty good job but the things he has accomplished are pretty much no brainers. Hell what AD in the country wouldn't have broke the bank for Urban at the time he did. The basketball hire was an easy one as well I think anyone would have been happy with anything other than Thad after the last few seasons. Also I don't think GS made OSU a billion dollar brand Our football program and fan base did that as winning makes people nuts and will make you spend a shit ton more. If we are honest Andy Geiger and Jim Tressel helped pave the way for the billion dollar brand.

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Calgarybuck's picture

Football worked itself out when Tatgate forced him to get rid of Tressel who was never going to win another title and might've topped out at 9-10 wins a season and be forced into a tough decision by 2014/15.  Having Urban available at the right time was sooo perfect we'll call that a mulligan.  What he's done for Basketball and all other sports has been awesome, Wrestling/Woman's Bball have been great.  Baseball team needs a shakeup but we have to be realistic that it's Ohio State and not a top flight southern school.

He hasn't received enough credit for making the call he did about Basketball in 2017, this season would've been a waste and he got infront of it.

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LCT's picture

Football worked itself out when Tatgate forced him to get rid of Tressel who was never going to win another title and might've topped out at 9-10 wins a season and be forced into a tough decision by 2014/15.

Fake News 

Lifetime vs. UM: L 8-1, C 7-0, T 4-0

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Calgarybuck's picture

Loathes 

Correct

Tressel take.

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LCT's picture

C'mon Breaux.  It's Washington Post-level Fake News.

The 2011 Ohio State Football Buckeyes were coming off a 12-win, conference championship season that ended with a Sugar Bowl win over an SEC team and had Terrelle Pryor coming back until the NCAA witch hunted them.

Lifetime vs. UM: L 8-1, C 7-0, T 4-0

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Calgarybuck's picture

Lol.

2011 would've been fine, going forward though Braxton would've saved the Vest his Job but the defence was falling apart at LB and the vest wasn't getting the DL studs to hold up..That combined with the mess at OL we we're long past the golden days and with Ohio's shrinking talent pool of 4-5* wasn't doing him any favours.

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LCT's picture

2011: would've been "fine"

2012: undefeated quarterbacked by a Tress recruit (every other starter also a Tress recruit)

Lifetime vs. UM: L 8-1, C 7-0, T 4-0

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Calgarybuck's picture

Who called that teams offense? Meyer or the Walrus?

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stxbuck's picture

This. 11' was shaping up to be a NC contention type of season before the suspensions-and Urbz went undefeated in 12', w/out "his" players for the most part. Fanboys underrate JTs coaching skills-the man knows how to win-and adapt.

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Eph97's picture

There was no way in hell the NCAA would have banned OSU again in 2012 had they self banned in 2011. It has to be a massive play for pay scandal to warrant a 2 bowl ban. Ole Miss recently got a 2 bowl ban. What OSU did, players selling their own gear for cash/tats and Tressell lying about it was no where near Ole Miss type infraction. The 2011 team was the one that had the players involved in tat gate (Posey, Adams) and the 2012 team did not; OSU could have explained that's why they self banned 2011 had they done it.

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analyticalguy's picture

It wasn't the tats; it was Tressel lying to the NCAA, however "pure" his motives. Had Tressel & co self-reported in 2010, and disqualified the players involved for 3 games, there would have been no bowl ban at all (although the Buckeyes may have lost a game or two more while Pryor and co sat), and they would have destroyed a lesser team than Arkansas in a lesser bowl in 2010. The Buckeyes would then have been in the hunt in 2011, and possibly 2012 as well.

But with the lie to the NCAA, they were out for blood. After being 6-3, had the Buckeyes finished the year at, say, 9-3, then the self-imposed bowl ban keeping them from a good bowl game may have satisfied the NCAA that there had been adequate punishment. I'm not convinced they would have considered keeping a 6-6 team a sufficient punishment.  But guess what - we'll never know for sure.

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causeicouldntgo43's picture

Gene has certainly done well and is a classy representative of this university. Anybody that brought in Urban Meyer deserves the credit for at least not messing it up, and there have been times in the past where OSU screwed the pooch in getting someone like, oh, Bobby Knight, or maybe even a Lou Holtz when they coulda been had.

I also likes Andy Gieger, who really layed the groundwork for massive facility updates and he brought in The Senator, which took big brass balls to do at the time. Everyone wanted a "big name", or a familiar re-tread like Glen Mason.

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You can't spell chump without UM's picture

Smith's done a great job, and receives a lot of unwarranted heat. Hiring Urban was an obviously easy choice, but I've seen plenty of times where teams or universities pass on a guy who would be a great fit. Look at Bama back in '07, Saban was their second choice when Rich Rod turned them down; kinda crazy to think about what the sport would look like had Rodriguez accepted that job.

Tom Brady lost to John Cooper. Never forget.

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BPOSU's picture

While I am an overall supporter of Gene Smith, giving him credit for Holtmann is a little deceiving.

He waited until the summer to "part ways" with Matta, when every "hot name" coach was already scooped up. Then he offered the job to Greg McDermott, and at best case scenario we had a Schiano situation where the backlash called for Smith to pull the offer and reach back out to Holtmann. So ultimately I would look at it more like Holtmann saved Gene Smith's ass.

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You can't spell chump without UM's picture

It's similar to Alabama football eleven years ago. They only got Saban because Rich Rod turned them down, thus Bama's AD looks like a genius for getting what may be the greatest college football coach ever, when had they gotten the guy they wanted firstly, they'd look like a colossal oaf.

Tom Brady lost to John Cooper. Never forget.

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infantrybuck's picture

You still gotta give him credit for convincing him to come here.  He left Hinkle Fieldhouse for a cemetery we call a home court. He left a school where Basketball was everything for a football school.  I understand we pay way more, but convincing him to come here was probably no small task.

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deflection's picture

Tough to convince those small school G5 coaches to take an 8 year 24 million contract to move up to power 5. Sure doesn't happen very often.

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ShawneeBuck74's picture

Holtmann still came to OSU. He had other opportunities. The Indiana job was open (among others). That they went to Archie Miller before Chris is on them. 

You win with people. 

And so forth...

9 Units Strong!

 

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ShawneeBuck74's picture

BPOSU -- I am not sure we really know all the details about how that went down. Holtmann originally said no, then McDermott entered the picture, but I'm not sure he had a hard offer, and then Holtmann entered back in. I believe Holtmann was the #1 choice from the jump. 

At any rate: he still hired Holtmann....convinced him to come here. And he's not the only coach hired on his watch. At what point does something go from luck to trend, to definite skill? 

I cannot find another AD at a Top 10 Brand school who gets so "lucky" so regularly. 

You win with people. 

And so forth...

9 Units Strong!

 

HS
stxbuck's picture

I will actually take Smith at his word when he stated that he did not go into that fateful meeting w/ Matta intending to fire him. I think Matta was honest enough about his health situation and the overall impact it had on the program that both he and Smith realized a reboot was necessary for the program. The fact that he was able to get Holtman in the wake of everything is impressive.

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McGrind's picture

Sometimes better to be lucky than good. Gene has had a little of both. 

If you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear.

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ChazBuckeye's picture

You know what? I think OSU gets a bowl ban in Meyer's 1st year even if Smith and Gee self imposed a bowl ban. TNCAA had a hard on for busting OSU and Tressel for his "serious" infraction (/S). In all seriousness, Gene Smith is doing a pretty damn good job.

It is time!!!!!

HS
ShawneeBuck74's picture

Others have said as much. I'm starting to think that's likely.

It really seems like the NCAA wanted to make OSU an example one way or another. We know they went overboard with Tatgate. 

You know, the Tressel Crime Syndicate was that bad. /s

You win with people. 

And so forth...

9 Units Strong!

 

HS
buckeyeupnorth's picture

People forget the entire story regarding Tressel and the players tattoos deal.  They have distilled it down to where they believe that players went out to a tattoo parlor, and traded gold pants for tattoos and the NCAA blitzed OSU for that.  Which is not what happened.

Here is a timeline of facts regarding what happened when a Columbus atty, who was a former walk on football player for OSU , sent an email to Tressel notifiying him that his players were involved with a tattoo parlor owner, who was being currently investigated by the FBI for money laundering. 

http://www.ncaa.com/news/football/article/2011-12-21/chronology-ohio-sta...

This particular timeline doesn't include the separate investigation that went on when a former OSU player stated that all the players were getting deals on car leases, etc. and it was being kept hidden. That player was Ray Small, who went on to be a bust in the NFL and then ended up with numerous felony convictions and prison sentences. By his own words, he says he was given "chance after chance" by Tressel.

Which is another reason I have said repeatedly over the years, that although Tressel was an excellent football coach, and a good guy, I don't want him anywhere near OSU . His desire to "not give up on family" overrides doing what is right ( and required) . 

Lots of reading in this Cleveland article, and it has links to all those involved in tatgate, on both sides of the legal and NCAA issues.

http://www.cleveland.com/osu/index.ssf/2014/06/former_receiver_current_i...

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stxbuck's picture

Maybe Tressel realized that not getting in the middle of an active FBI investigation was more important for his players and the general good as opposed to placating the NCAA-and he went down like a samurai b/c of it.

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810Buck's picture

I'm not a fan of Gene.   

My 18-month old could have hired Urban Meyer in 2011.  He would have had to go out of his way to screw that up.  Hardly worthy of credit.  

The basketball situation was a mess created almost solely by Gene's overreaction to bad recruit. Love what Holtmann is doing, but really uglied up Matta unfairly and handcuffed Holtmann the first 30 days.  We got destroyed in 18 class because of it and will pay for it soon (trying to enjoy the now as much as possible). 

Ticket prices are disgusting.  And starting to impact the budget more than anyone at OSU cares to admit.  But Gene has done a great job at promoting Gene.  

HS
BeaverOhioBuckeye's picture

I said the same thing about the Meyer hire and got a DV lol be careful there are some Sensitive Sarah's on this topic. you Sir Get an UV from me.

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aj99's picture

Lol.  Me too.  Who knew...Gene is the greatest.  Sorry.  I apologize for having an opinion.  And seriously I don't get why people think it was so hard to hire Urban.  Yeah tough one...hire a guy into his dream job.  And then hire a guy from a Butler....ooooh.  Sooo hard.  I'm not criticizing him, but I don't get this celebration of Gene.  Maybe he started the thread...

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ShowThemOhiosHere's picture

Meh, ticket prices suck but they're going to charge what people are willing to pay for them.  Ticket prices will go down when attendance goes down from people deciding that the prices are too much.  

The best way to voice your displeasure with ticket prices is with your wallet.  That's why my dad stopped buying season tickets from my aunt...we only go to a couple of games a year now.  It's why we passed on going to The Game in 2016 and won't be going to The Game this coming season.  I'd love to go to The Game, but I'm not shelling out nearly $200 for a ticket (pushes $250 for just me when you throw in parking, food in the stadium...couple of beers before the game).  

Class of 2010.

HS
810Buck's picture

I understand market value.  When Gene said that game is actually underpriced it made me livid.  Just because you can do something with this product doesn't mean you should.  But for that game... whatever....

However - charging $185 to see lousy Nebraska team in November.  Get real, folks. 

Secondary market was cheaper for EVERY game this year (PSU was close)

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stxbuck's picture

I won't pay $185 to see tOSU play Nebraska. I don't begrudge people who will. If the secondary market sellers lose $$$-that just shows Smith is smart-he is getting max value for an overvalued commodity.

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deflection's picture

I think overall the job Gene has done is very good. I think he's managed the AD well and his non-money sport hires seem to be great.

I think he's unfairly criticized for his work on the Basketball and Football committee's and like that he takes an active role in these positions.

However, to say that he doesn't deserve some criticism for the timing of the Matta firing or the bowl ban is crazy.

He made the right hire for the BBall program and turned an ugly situation around, but the hire was also pretty much the only reasonably attainable candidate suggested by many followers the situation.

Not self imposing a bowl ban with a 6-3 soon to be 6-6 team after he knew on Nov 11th the NCAA had issued 'Failure to Monitor' was a huge mistake. I don't believe for a second that the 'NCAA was out for blood' when it was an open question if OSU would even get a 1 year ban. Gene Smith by his own statement said he was 'surprised' at the ban...so speculating he did an end around the NCAA by not self imposing so OSU didn't end up with 2 years of bans is ludicrous and absolutely NOT what Gene's intentions were even if the result were true.

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ShowThemOhiosHere's picture

Really outside of Tatgate, what is there to criticize Gene on?  OSU athletics, as a whole, are in a great place.  The head coaching change in men's basketball, late in the game as it was, has proven to be a stroke of genius (at least to this point).  I don't think anybody was expecting much from the team going in to this season, but here we are excited about the Basketbucks again.  Other sports are getting championships...football is kicking ass like always...lot to be happy with right now.  I've moved on from Tatgate...we can play the what ifs all day on what would've happened if it was handled differently...we will never know for sure.  It did bring Urban Meyer to this program.

Class of 2010.

HS