AD Gene Smith: Ohio State won’t play outside Big Ten


COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Ohio State Athletic Director Gene Smith says Ohio State won’t play football outside the Big Ten Conference and is looking toward spring as an option.

Smith spoke with reporters Tuesday afternoon.

Smith said he wishes they had more time to work on protocols and see if things are different even a couple weeks down the road.

“I’m disappointed we had to make this decision as early as we did,” said Smith. “I respect our medical people people, I respect the guidance of our leadership. We’ll move forward.”

He called the idea of leaving the Big Ten to play games outside the conference unrealistic.

“We’ve been a member of the Big Ten for a long time. We share the same values as our member institutions,” said Smith. “We’re in the Big Ten. We’re not looking to play someone else outside our conference. We have a contract that we’re obligated to with our television partners.”

Now, Smith says his focus is on figuring out the best way to have a spring season, not just for football, but for all fall sports.

“We’re looking at the spring as an option. Up until today, it was not an option for me, relative to my mindset. But, Ryan and I just spent some time talking about the possibilities, and I’m embracing it.”

Smith says he sees the spring differently than he did this morning. He has already met with coaches from several other sports and asked them to come up with a strategy.

“This pandemic is a freaking beast, and if you don’t respect it, you end up exactly where we are. We need to begin to respect it,” said Smith.

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