Nearly 90 fewer Ohio State officials traveled to the National Championship game than to the Sugar Bowl, according to documents provided by the university Thursday.
At least 38 OSU affiliates went to the Jan. 13 game in North Texas, in which OSU defeated Oregon, 42-20. That official-party list included President Michael Drake and his wife, Brenda, Board of Trustees members and guests, and OSU staff.
That is compared to 124 people whose Sugar Bowl expenses were covered by OSU when they saw the Buckeyes defeat Alabama Jan. 1 in New Orleans. That trip cost roughly $372,000.
Cost figures for the championship trip were unavailable as of Thursday.
OSU spokesman Gary Lewis said the championship trip was different from the Sugar Bowl — or past bowl games — because it was the first-ever College Football Playoff National Championship game and was played within two weeks of the Sugar Bowl. There also was not a “bowl tour,” which would include flights, food, lodging and a game ticket for some university affiliates.
“Instead, arrangements were made for a much smaller number of university staff and dignitaries to travel to the game as the official university party,” Lewis stated in an email. “Because of this short time period in which to plan for the event and the differing travel schedules for the attendees, the list of championship game travelers is much smaller than the Sugar Bowl list.”
He also noted that invoices of travel arrangements have not all been received by the university yet, and not everyone will seek to be reimbursed for their expenses. While many from the university might have attended the game on business, they weren’t part of the official university party, so their information wasn’t readily available.
Lewis said a full list of the trip, including who went and what it cost, will be available in the spring when OSU reports the information to the NCAA.