RSSCategory: Special Reports


The 50-year agreement: OSU’s $483M parking deal stands alone among other schools after year 1

December 19, 2013
A year after Ohio State’s $483 million deal with a private investment company transferred control of parking assets to outside hands, no other large public entity has followed suit. While others, such as Indiana University and the city of Cincinnati, have considered taking the plunge, OSU and Chicago stand alone in having signed the lease. For Chicago, leasing parking assets has largely been considered a disaster. One year into the 50-year agreement at OSU, meanwhile, it’s too soon for many to tell how the situation will play out. CampusParc was created to manage OSU’s parking services, which were leased to Australian investment firm QIC Global Infrastructure for 50 years. The… Read more

Refreshing or restricting? Ohio State’s $32M deal with Coca-Cola brings up questions of transparency

December 19, 2013
For years, there has been an exclusive option for Ohio State students to quench their thirst on campus: Always Coca-Cola. OSU is about halfway through a 10-year renewal of an agreement with the Coca-Cola Co., a deal worth more than $32 million. While the exclusive deal brings in millions to the university, questions of transparency have surrounded the agreement since its signing. The university is mum on specifics regarding exactly how much money it earns yearly, and on whether offers from other beverage distributors were made prior to signing with Coca-Cola. OSU originally contracted with Coca-Cola in 1998 and chose to renew the agreement in 2008. The contract, now in… Read more

Huntington Bank exceeds $125M Ohio State contract promises as federal government seeks deal transparency

December 17, 2013
Ohio State and Huntington Bank officials both tout the success of their multimillion dollar agreement, which has provided some undeniable benefits like student internships and branding opportunities. But while OSU isn’t outright telling students where to bank, its partnership with Huntington in some ways seems like a strong suggestion – one that comes in a time when the federal government is making moves to seek more transparency from such arrangements. After an initial multimillion dollar cash payment to the university and the promise of additional benefits, Huntington has been designated the “official consumer bank” of OSU. In return, the university is contracted to provide the bank with some extra perks.… Read more

Just doing it: Ohio State, Nike extend $46 million, brand-building agreements

December 16, 2013
Nike is dotting the “i” in Ohio State. OSU holds a three-part agreement with Nike, based in Beaverton, Ore., set to gross the university almost $46 million over 11 years. Despite what the university gains, some say there are drawbacks to the agreement, which makes Nike the exclusive supplier of any athletic equipment used by OSU varsity athletes and gives the company licensing rights on OSU retail apparel. OSU and Nike signed three separate seven-year contracts that went into effect Aug. 1, 2007. Recently, Nike exercised a contract option to extend all three until July 31, 2018, OSU spokesman Gary Lewis said in an email. A representative from Nike declined… Read more

$683M and counting: Ohio State’s private contracts raise questions about what’s to come

Ohio State holds nearly $700 million worth of agreements through five contracts with corporate icons, including Nike and Coca-Cola, that promise student internships and community investments along with globally recognized athletic equipment, beverages and other assets. Some, though, question whether enough is being done to keep tuition low in light of these privatizations and wonder what else the university will eventually sell, lease or leverage for the promise of a major payday. The pursuit of cash payments with extra perks appears to be the logic behind OSU’s approximately $683 million in contracts with private companies that limit at least five different areas – parking, beverages, apparel, athletic goods and banking.… Read more

Interim Ohio State cheerleading coach named, head coach fired

December 2, 2013
Ohio State fired its head cheerleading coach last week after she associated herself and her team with two former assistant coaches who were terminated “for cause” after a sexual harassment investigation. The former head coach was also found to have demonstrated a lack of “leadership and courage” when faced with challenges during her tenure. Lenee Buchman, who had been OSU’s head cheerleading coach since July 2009, was terminated Nov. 25 for “several serious lapses of judgment and leadership,” according to an email sent to Buchman by OSU athletic director Gene Smith Nov. 22 that was obtained by The Lantern. The October Office of Human Resources report that discovered those lapses… Read more

Ohio State head cheerleading coach fired after ‘serious lapses’ of judgment, leadership

November 26, 2013
Ohio State fired its head cheerleading coach Monday after an investigation determined she failed to disassociate herself and the program with two former assistant coaches fired in May for sexual harassment. Lenee Buchman, who was OSU’s head cheerleading coach since July 2009, was terminated Monday afternoon in a meeting with OSU athletic director Gene Smith, according to a letter obtained by The Lantern. In an email sent to Buchman by Smith Friday, which was also obtained by The Lantern, Smith wrote that although an investigation by OSU human resources did not find that Buchman retaliated against a student by dismissing him from the team this summer, a report from that… Read more

Former Ohio State cheerleader’s lawyer calls for Gene Smith to terminate head coach Lenee Buchman

November 22, 2013
Two assistant cheerleading coaches were fired in May for “sufficient evidence” of sexual harassment, but one former cheerleader’s lawyer said the terminations should not stop there. John Camillus, the attorney of former OSU cheerleader Cody Ellis, wrote in a Wednesday email addressed to OSU athletic director Gene Smith that he believes Smith should fire head coach Lenee Buchman and allow his client to return to the team. “It is time for someone with authority, common sense, and at least a modicum of moral courage to do the right thing — terminate Ms. Buchman and immediately reinstate Cody Ellis to the cheerleading squad,” Camillus wrote in the email, of which he… Read more

Cheerleaders harassed, coaches fired: 2 Ohio State assistants fired after sexual harassment probe, head coach retained

November 18, 2013
When nine Ohio State cheerleaders were questioned during an investigation into sexual harassment allegations brought against two assistant coaches, none of the students were surprised a complaint was filed. The coaches’ behavior, which included hinting at sex and touching team members inappropriately, was described as “creepy,” but it was conduct the cheerleaders had come to expect. All of the athletes interviewed said they had witnessed, heard about or been subjected to the inappropriate conduct, but it took an anonymous report for the university to take action. The two coaches were fired in May after an OSU investigation found “sufficient evidence” both men had violated the university’s Sexual Harassment Policy. OSU… Read more

Uncertainty surrounds Ohio State’s $50M investment in Drive Capital

November 3, 2013
Concerns from top university officials didn’t stop Ohio State from investing tens of millions of dollars into a fledgling venture capital fund, records show, but some OSU students are pleased the university made the deal. OSU recently invested $50 million into Drive Capital, which was launched by Mark Kvamme earlier this year. Drive Capital was co-founded by Kvamme and Chris Olsen. Both were previously partners at Sequoia Capital, a venture capital firm based in California that has backed companies such as Apple, Instagram and Google. Olsen is also a native of Cincinnati. Venture capital firms invest money into early stage startup companies. These types of investments are typically seen as… Read more