This semester I am taking “The Business of College Sport” as one of my electives. From the title of the class alone, it is obvious that this class has little to nothing to do with accounting, yet it has quickly become my favorite class. Not only did numerous former students who have taken this class PERSISTENTLY tell me that it was their favorite class they had ever taken, but it is also taught by The Ohio State athletic director, Gene Smith, and his wife Sheila Smith.
The first month of this class has been super exciting considering each class we have had a guest speaker come in and talk about a variety of topics related to the Ohio State Athletic Program such as finances, governance, trademarks, and ticketing for games.
The Football Locker Room
Our most recent class was EASILY the coolest class we have had so far (if you can even call it class) because we got a personal tour of the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. This is the facility that contains the indoor practice facility where numerous Ohio State Varsity Athletic teams practice, including the football team, and also holds the training rooms, workout equipment and locker room used by the Ohio State football team.
The tour started in the lobby of the facility that had been newly renovated and held the plethora of trophies accumulated by the football team over the years. We then walked through the impressive halls of the building that contained extensive lists and pictures of All Americans, the helmets of every NFL team an Ohio State football player has played for (a very full wall), displays of previous team uniforms and shoes, and countless other decor lining the hallways.
Outdoor View of the Woody Hayes Athletic Center
The Football Workout Facility
We then went through Urban Meyers HUGE office that led out to the indoor turf practice facility where the men’s lacrosse team was currently holding an early-morning practice. From there, we walked through the football team’s luxurious locker room. The locker room was huge and even contained a waterfall on one of the walls. The locker room led to the training room with a full staff already at work. Finally, the training room led to the massive workout area solely dedicated to the football team. This area was lined with benches, machines, free weights, and stat charts that showed things such as a player’s attitude and effort were hung on the walls.
A wall in the hallway of the WHAC
I am not a morning person by any means, but even as my alarm rings at 6:30 A.M. every Tuesday and Thursday, I am wide awake anticipating attending The Business of College Sport and seeing what fantastic guest speaker will be in class that day and hearing what intelligent/informative/hilarious insight Gene Smith has to openly share with the class.