Today Ohio State athletics director Gene Smith joined 97.1 The Fan and spoke to Bishop and Rothman.
It was a wide-ranging interview that covered a number of topics including:
- Smith shared his thoughts on the Big Ten’s struggles early on this season. He admits the conference has not been stellar this year, but feels it will pick up because of investments schools have made recently in their football programs.
- The Notre Dame grad weighed in on why he believes the Fighting Irish should become a full-fledged member of a conference. Because it is so difficult to win a national championship every year, he would really like to see the school reward its football players with a chance to at least play for a league title. He also says that the Big Ten never made a viable attempt at landing the Irish.
- He said that with college football moving to a playoff, Ohio State will make it a priority to try to every year schedule one team that’s consistently in the top-ten and a couple more which are routinely are ranked in the top-40.
- And finally, he addressed the possibility of the 2002 National Championship team staging a reunion/recognition ceremony before the Michigan game this year. Smith said the athletics department does not spearhead effforts to hold such gatherings, but they will facilitate efforts led by former OSU student-athletes; and in this case, Craig Krenzel and Mike Doss are the ones rounding up the 2002 players to attend the event…Yes, that does include Maurice Clarett and Jim Tressel despite their NCAA violations. Smith said that they both contributed to Buckeye history, and both are welcome here.
He was also pretty amusing when speaking about his role in the Rudy Ruettiger story. That’s at the end of the interview.