As much as I dog Greg McGarity here, it’s worth saying I’ve been impressed with his measured approach to managing the course of the football program during the pandemic. It’s a time for caution and he’s done a good job.
If you’re looking for a point of comparison, look no farther than Ohio State’s Gene Smith, who’s getting the turnstiles ready.
Ohio State is modeling a concept that would allow about one-fifth of Ohio Stadium to be occupied during home football games for the 2020 season. Athletic director Gene Smith made the announcement during a Wednesday conference call with media.
“We have played a little bit with the social distancing concept,” Smith said. “We know that will probably take us down south of 30,000 fans in the stands, actually closer to 20,000-22,000. We’ve played with that a little bit as a framework to start.”
At a capacity of more than 102,000 fans, Ohio Stadium is the third-largest college football venue in the country. Smith had previously noted that the Buckeyes’ athletic department could lose as much as $50 million if Ohio Stadium opened without fans for an entire seven-game home season…
“I think it’s learning,” Smith said. “This is a process. What was beautiful for me, every morning we have Big Ten AD calls. Just the feedback between one another and colleagues … In the beginning, none of us had a position on anything. Now, I’ve shifted to being curious.”
Gene must have learned a lot in a few short hours after the conference call, because he doubled down yesterday afternoon.
Hell, man, why stop there?