Gene Smith Still Uncertain About How Ohio State Basketball's Season Will Look, Whether Fans Will Be Allowed

By Colin Hass-Hill on September 24, 2020 at 8:41 am

Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith doesn't know. He just doesn't know yet.

Though the NCAA announced last week that it plans to start the upcoming men's basketball season on Nov. 25, Smith says doesn't have much clarity yet about how the Buckeyes' season will look.

"Five-on-five with a ball and officials," Smith said with a smile on Wednesday. "I don't know. That's still being developed. We do have a basketball committee that's being chaired by Mike Bobinski."

Bobinski, Purdue's athletic director, will be one of those in power positions determining how the Big Ten's men's basketball season will look. Much of the conversation in Columbus over the past few months has naturally centered on football, but the conference's other revenue sport will soon have to start making decisions.

"There's still a lot of conversation about the schedule – what it would look like," Smith said. "We have a subcommittee of the Big Ten. And hopefully, within the next couple weeks, we'll have clarity on what that schedule looks like for men's and women's basketball and men's ice hockey that have a chance to start up in November. So those numbers are guesstimates."

Unlike Big Ten football teams, men's basketball programs around the conference plan to play non-conference games.

Ohio State is set to participate in a Sioux Falls, South Dakota-based tournament formerly known as the Battle 4 Atlantis, and it's also expected to participate in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. However, its out-of-conference schedule is not completely set yet, and nor is the Big Ten's slate of games.

"We anticipate even if we have basketball games, I'm not sure how many we're going to have at home," Smith said. "We're hopeful that we can have double-digits. But even with that, we know that our attendance will be zero or significantly less (than usual) depending on what's happening at that particular time with the virus. "

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