Mar 21, 2023; Columbus, OH, USA; Ohio State University football coach Ryan Day answers a question about quarterbacks during the 2023 Spring Practices. Mandatory Credit: Doral Chenoweth-The Columbus Dispatch

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Ryan Day gets vote of confidence from Ohio St. AD

Ryan Day has a coaching record of 45-6, 32-0 and 1-2 in his four-plus seasons at Ohio State.

Three of Day’s six losses overall have come in the College Football Playoff and the Buckeyes are 32-0 against every Big Ten team, save one, during Day’s tenure. It’s that 1-2 mark against Michigan that ostensibly required a vote of confidence from Buckeyes athletic director Gene Smith.

That came during an interview with ESPN published Tuesday.

“My standards are high, our team standards are high,” Smith told ESPN. “So we talk about how do we get better and how do we make sure we are able to win the championships that we aspire to win? We look at each individual contest that got in the way of that, and we’re trying to figure out what’s the strategy to mitigate that.”

The Buckeyes dropped a second consecutive game to Michigan in 2022, 45-23. Ohio State hasn’t lost three straight to Michigan since 1995-97, per ESPN.

Day defeated the Wolverines 56-27 in 2019 and the 2020 game was canceled due to the COVID pandemic. Michigan beat Ohio State 42-27 in 2021, giving Wolverines coach Jim Harbaugh his first win in the series as head coach. Harbaugh, for the record, is 2-5 against the Buckeyes.

John Cooper went 111-43-4 in 13 seasons as head coach at Ohio State. But despite that .715 winning percentage, Cooper is remembered for a 2-10-1 mark against Michigan.

“The rivalry game’s obviously very, very important,” Day told ESPN. “When you look at those games, and you see these single plays that really cost us the game. When you’re talking about on defense, giving up explosive plays, certainly that’s very, very important. That’s how games can go sideways.”

Day’s next shot at Michigan: Nov. 25 in Ann Arbor.

–Field Level Media

Ohio State University athletic director Gene Smith speaks to media after touring the COVID-19 mass vaccination facility set up at Ohio State's Schottenstein Center with Gov. Mike DeWine on Tuesday, March 9, 2021.

Gov Dewine Tours Vaccination Site

Ohio State AD Gene Smith gets two-year extension

Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith has signed a two-year contract extension that would keep him in the role through 2026.

The extension would pay Smith more than $2 million per year in salary and supplemental compensation.

The extension is subject for approval by the university board of trustees committee, which is meeting Wednesday. The full board would vote on it Thursday.

Smith signed the extension in March.

If approved, the extension would take effect July 1. He had one year remaining on the two-year extension he signed last year. Smith will be 70 years old when the new contract ends in June 2026.

–Field Level Media

Nov 26, 2016; Columbus, OH, USA; Ohio State Buckeye athletic director Gene Smith before the game against the Michigan Wolverines at Ohio Stadium. Ohio State won 30-27. Mandatory Credit: Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Ohio State makes cuts amid $107M budget shortfall

Facing a $107 million budget shortfall amid the coronavirus pandemic, Ohio State will enact widespread cost-saving measures across the athletic department.

The fiscal year 2021 budget unveiled Wednesday includes furloughs and staff reductions but provides for all 36 sports. The budget is $180 million in all, with only $73 million in projected revenues. It does not include revenues from media rights that haven’t been determined.

“Our student-athletes are our primary responsibility,” athletic director Gene Smith said in a news release. “They have and will continue to come first. We have put together a responsible and conservative budget for this fiscal year, which assumes full support for our student-athletes. In the midst of this devastating pandemic, we remain committed to providing a safe and excellent academic and athletic experience for all of our student-athletes.”

The school said the athletic department already trimmed $5.6 million through a hiring freeze, leaving vacant jobs unfilled, eliminating travel and making other cuts. Reductions in the next fiscal year include nearly $10 million in debt restructuring, and also come from savings of $3.4 million in football game-day expenses and $3 million in guarantees for non-conference games that won’t be played.

Another $7 million will be saved through furloughs, salary cuts and the elimination of 25 department jobs.

“Like our colleagues in the Big Ten, and across the country, intercollegiate athletics at Ohio State will have to significantly adjust as the pandemic will have a long-term impact,” Smith said.

The school said the Buckeyes athletic department is one of about 20 across the country that funds itself and doesn’t receive state money or university funds. Of the lost income, $64 million of it is from ticket sales.

–Field Level Media