Ohio State President Ted Carter “Impressed” With Ryan Day, Eager for Football Season

By Andy Anders on July 4, 2024 at 11:35 am
Ryan Day and Ted Carter

Ted Carter has experienced many firsts in his first six months as Ohio State's president.

His first day, his first high-profile hire in athletic director Ross Bjork, his first puck drop at a Columbus Blue Jackets game. There’s another on the docket for Aug. 31.

“This will not be my first Ohio State football game, but it will be my first one as president,” Carter told Eleven Warriors on Real Pod Wednesdays. “So yes, I'm really excited about it. I'm excited about the whole season. I’ve got a newsflash for everybody, we're going to be really good this year.”

Much of the reason Carter is confident in this year’s Buckeye outfit is his admiration for head coach Ryan Day. While his expectations notably remain high for Day’s squad in 2024, he’s been taken aback by the culture, staff changes and recruiting prowess the New Hampshire native has established.

“I've gotten to know Ryan very well. We've spent some time together, some one-on-one time together,” Carter said. “We've been at Big Ten meetings together, we've been on an airplane together. We've had a lot of time to talk. And I'm very impressed with him. I've been impressed with what he's doing within the leadership programs within football. I've been impressed with the coaching hires he's made this offseason. He's recruiting well.”

Carter is well aware of football’s place – and the place of athletics as a whole – at Ohio State.

He played four seasons of hockey at the U.S. Naval Academy, serving as a team captain his senior year. Carter later served as superintendent of the academy and then president of the University of Nebraska, two places where football has a rich tradition.

“It's important,” Carter said of Ohio State's football program. “It's not just the front-facing or the fun part of what people think about the university. It helps define our brand, our culture. And it's part of what attracts some of the best student-athletes in the country to want to come, be here, get their degree, but compete wearing the Block O. And that excites me still.”

Football is also critical from a revenue perspective. Carter has reaffirmed the university's commitment to keeping all 36 varsity sports going at Ohio State. The Buckeye football team – and, to a lesser extent, its men’s and women’s basketball teams – need to keep their revenues up to continue sustaining themselves and the athletic department.

“We've just got to make sure that we maintain, even with this revenue share model, that we do everything that we can to be self-sufficient,” Carter said. “This program has been self-sufficient, and we anticipate it will be self-sufficient going forward. And I would argue if you look across the entire landscape of college football, you're going to find only maybe three to five programs that are going to be able to say that in the next model.”

One off-field attribute that affirms Carter’s assurance in Day is the team’s academic standing. The Buckeyes joined Harvard as the only team with a perfect multi-year Academic Progress Rate in 2023.

Carter credits the entire athletic administration for its athletes’ success in the classroom. Ohio State had 489 Academic All-Big Ten honorees for the 2023-24 sports calendar, the most in the conference.

“I think it's cultural, and I go right to the leadership at the top,” Carter said. “I think Gene Smith should take great credit in that, and then driving that through the coaches that this is something we care about. Our faculty representatives that are in support there, they're also doing a great job. So there's a team of support, and you make sure our student-athletes know that when you come here, you're not coming here to just play a sport, you're coming here to get a degree.”

"I'm very impressed with him. I've been impressed with what he's doing within the leadership programs within football. I've been impressed with the coaching hires he's made this offseason."– Ted Carter on Ryan Day

There’s no denying Ohio State has a talented team in 2024. Nine starters return from the nation’s No. 2 scoring defense and that unit added the No. 1 transfer in the country in safety Caleb Downs. The Buckeyes have a fully-kitted armory at wide receiver and running back.

The dark cloud of three straight losses to Michigan still looms over the program, however. With title-winning talent comes title ambitions, and, at the bare minimum, the righting of that wrong.

“Obviously, I'm watching and I'm paying attention like everybody else,” Carter said. “I have high expectations this year. The bottom line is, I'm really impressed with Ryan Day.”

To Carter, higher education is the “ultimate team sport.” Athletics helped shape his leadership style and have been integral at his previous stops as an administrator. He’s overjoyed to be continuing his career at Ohio State – and he’s eagerly anticipating that first home game against Akron.

“I think the thing they should probably know about me is just how happy I am to be here,” Carter said. “I don't know how it actually happened that I got to be in this job. This was not my plan. This was not in my wildest imagination. ... I get to work with such great faculty and staff and our students, everything that is here at Ohio State. Even during some of the most challenging times that we're seeing in our nation, this is an amazing place. And Ohioans and all sports fans, not just Buckeye fans, should be proud of what we're doing here at The Ohio State University.”

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