Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith has a new title and an updated contract.
Smith was named an OSU vice president and given a nearly 12 percent pay increase and four year contract extension, pending OSU Board of Trustees approval later this week, OSU Interim President Joseph Alutto announced Tuesday.
Smith’s contract is now set to expire June 30, 2020, and he will continue to report directly to the university president, according to an OSU press release.
His annual base salary is $940,484, effective July 1, 2013, though he will be eligible for “standard, university-wide merit based salary increases each year,” according to the release. Smith was paid about $840,484 in 2013, according to the Columbus Business First DataCenter.
The Lantern requested an interview with Alutto following the announcement, however, OSU spokesman Gary Lewis said Smith’s new role “will be voted on Friday (at the OSU Board of Trustees meeting) during the public session as with other personnel actions,” in an email.
Smith is set to have joint oversight responsibility with the Office of Business and Finance for OSU’s Business Advancement Division, which includes the Schottenstein Center, the Blackwell, Drake Performance and Event Center, the Fawcett Center and the Office of Trademark and Licensing Services.
Smith is also slated to have responsibility for the Nationwide Arena Management agreement to “increase existing revenue streams and pursue new revenue opportunities through creative collaboration and innovation,” and partner with Business and Finance for responsibility of the university’s affinity agreements, according to the release.
He said he is “grateful for the opportunity to lead the athletics program” at OSU in a released statement.
“Working with the coaches, athletics staff, faculty and staff across the university enables us to provide positive experiences for the young people we serve, while finding ways to help them become global citizens impacting the world,” Smith said. “Ohio State is an amazing institution and I am proud to be a Buckeye.”
Alutto said the contract extension, pay increase and additional title are a reflection of what Smith has done during his time at OSU, which began in 2005.
“Gene Smith is one of this country’s most accomplished collegiate athletics directors, with an exemplary record of national leadership and service,” Alutto said in a released statement. “Thanks to his dedication to student success, graduation success rate of Ohio State’s student-athletes have risen … to 89 percent.”
All OSU student-athletes had an NCAA graduation success rate of 89 percent in the most recent 2013 report, up from 61 percent in 2005-06, according to the release.
Of all NCAA Division I student-athletes who entered college in 2006, 82 percent earned their degrees, according to an NCAA release.
Smith is OSU’s eighth athletics director. He oversees 36 varsity sports, which more than 1,000 student-athletes participate in each year, according to the OSU release.
Smith oversaw OSU’s Department of Athletics during Tattoo-gate, a 2010 improper benefits scandal which led to five football players’ five-game suspensions and a sixth player’s one-game ban for selling memorabilia and receiving improper benefits from the owner of a tattoo parlor. Former OSU coach Jim Tressel resigned in May 2011 in the wake of the scandal becoming public. Later, the NCAA banned OSU from postseason play in 2011 and sanctioned the program with a nine-year scholarship reduction over three years.
Also during Smith’s tenure, Buckeyes have earned a variety of accomplishments, including winning 10 team national championships, 60 individual national championships, eight national players of the year and producing 22 Olympians.
Smith has raised more than $400 million in partnership with the development staff during his time at OSU, according to the release.