June 13, 2024

Ohio State athletic director says ‘of course’ Michigan’s wins should carry asterisk amid sign-stealing scandal

Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith pulled no punches when requested by central Ohio’s NPR affiliate whether or not he believes Michigan’s current soccer victories over the Buckeyes should include an “asterisk” due to the Wolverines’ sign-stealing scandal.

“Of course I do,” Smith stated, laughing on the “All Sides with Anna Staver” present.” Smith repeated that “of course I do” earlier than expounding on his view of the scandal, which hung over Michigan’s 2023 nationwide title marketing campaign.

“The rules are in place to protect the integrity of the game and try your best to create a level playing field,” Smith stated. “When those rules are violated, then it affects those principles. We have to keep that in perspective.”

Michigan has a three-game successful streak over Ohio State: 30-24 in Ann Arbor in 2023, 45-23 in Columbus in 2022 and 47-42 in Ann Arbor in 2021, which snapped an eight-game streak by Ohio State within the rivalry. 

The elaborate sign-stealing scheme, allegedly perpetrated by former Michigan staffer Connor Stalions, resulted in a three-game suspension for Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh to shut the common season. However, the Wolverines nonetheless topped the Buckeyes for a 3rd straight season with interim coach Sherrone Moore in cost. An NCAA investigation into the scandal remains open.

Smith is retiring in July after presiding over the Ohio State athletic division since 2005. During most of his tenure, the Buckeyes dominated Michigan of their heated soccer rivalry. However, the Wolverines have gained three straight getting into this yr’s assembly, which is able to happen at Ohio State.

“I’m not one that looks back,” Smith stated. “I think what’s important for us is to look forward. We host that team up north this fall, and I’m assuming it’ll be what it’s always been. The last time that we had the level of interest in that game was 2006 with No. 1 vs. No. 2. This year, it probably won’t be No. 1 vs. No. 2, but it’ll be No. 1 vs. somebody and we need to pack that place. Be in your seat early. Don’t wait until the kickoff. Be in your seat early.”

Moore has since been named Michigan’s head coach after Harbaugh returned to the NFL as head coach of the Los Angeles Chargers. Former Ole Miss and Texas A&M athletic director Ross Bjork is stepping in to switch Smith because the Buckeyes enter the 2024 marketing campaign ranked No. 2 in Dennis Dodd’s post-spring top 25. 

After seeing 13 gamers chosen within the NFL Draft and shedding Harbaugh, the Wolverines are ranked No. 12 by Dodd, which means the expectation is that Ohio State will get again on the successful aspect of the rivalry throughout a essential sixth season for coach Ryan Day.