Even if it seemed like life slowed down at Ohio State as some students departed during the summer, the university was alive with changes in administration, renovations and sports. A new president took over and that president fired the band director. A star quarterback was injured and is out for the season and a redshirt-freshman who has never played in a collegiate game is taking over. If you missed any of it, The Lantern is recapping some of OSU’s notable summer stories.
Michael Drake begins presidency
President Michael Drake became OSU’s 15th president on June 30.
Before coming to OSU, Drake was chancellor of University of California, Irvine.
Drake is set to earn an annual base salary of $800,000 during his five-year term and is also eligible for a $200,000 bonus each year, alongside an annual credit of $200,000 under a deferred compensation agreement.
Drake’s presidency follows that of E. Gordon Gee, who retired more than a year ago after controversial remarks he made at an OSU Athletic Council meeting became public. Gee is currently serving as the West Virginia University president.
Former marching band director Jonathan Waters’ dismissal
The July 24 firing of former OSU Marching Band director Jonathan Waters drew a significant amount of attention this summer.
Waters was fired after a two-month OSU investigation into a complaint from a band member’s parent found “serious cultural issues and an environment conducive to sexual harassment within the Marching Band,” according to an OSU statement. It was found that Waters was either aware of, or reasonably should have been aware of, that culture, but didn’t do enough to address it.
Waters has since said he wants his job back in a letter to the OSU Board of Trustees Chair Jeffrey Wadsworth, though Wadsworth said in a released response that a possible reinstatement of Waters will not be discussed at any upcoming board meetings.
Currently Waters’ camp has not yet said whether it plans to sue. If Waters does, however, Drake said the university is ready.
Mirror Lake renovations
It remains unclear if recent renovations to the OSU landmark will affect the annual Mirror Lake jump, which traditionally takes place the Tuesday before the OSU-Michigan game.
The lake was drained after last year’s jump to allow for work on a sustainability study aiming to prevent water loss because of leaks in the lake’s structure. The study was also set to address maintenance issues related to deterioration of the lake’s walls, and it ultimately determined that groundwater is a viable option for sustaining the lake. The study was budgeted to cost about $28,000.
The lake was refilled in early August using a well that cost an additional $30,000, Administration and Planning spokeswoman Alison Hinkle said earlier this month.
A final design plan is set to be selected in early November. The lake could be drained again, though, depending on the plan, according to Aparna Dial, OSU director of energy services and sustainability.
Braxton Miller out for the season
Senior quarterback Braxton Miller will miss the entire 2014 football season after re-injuring his shoulder during a preseason practice in August.
He originally injured the shoulder last season in OSU’s loss to Clemson in the Orange Bowl. After undergoing offseason shoulder surgery, Miller was held out of spring practice and limited through the first portion of fall practice.
OSU coach Urban Meyer said redshirt-freshman J.T. Barrett had moved ahead of redshirt-sophomore Cardale Jones in the team’s backup quarterback battle as of Aug. 20.
Barrett is slated to start OSU’s season opener Saturday against Navy in Baltimore. Kickoff is set for noon.
Changes to the NCAA rules
With a 16-2 vote, the NCAA Board of Directors passed a resolution Aug. 7 that restructured the NCAA’s governing body.
Under the current model, athletic directors and student athletes do not have a voice in the legislative process, but under the new model they will.
Instead of an 18-member board composed of 11 university presidents from the Football Bowl subdivision and seven presidents from the Football Championships Subdivision, as well as Division I schools without football, the new board will be comprised of 24 members.
Those 24 members will be comprised of 10 presidents from the football bowl subdivision, five presidents from the football championships subdivision, five presidents from Division I schools without football, one student-athlete, one athletics director, one faculty athletics representative and one senior female representative.
The NCAA’s restructuring is expected to streamline the process in approving new legislation concerning student-athlete safety and well-being. Among the issues are extending healthcare coverage for student-athletes beyond graduation and athletic scholarships past eligibility.
Autonomy was also granted to the “Power 5” conferences: the Big Ten, Southeastern Conference, Atlantic Coast Conference, Big 12 Conference and Pacific-12.
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