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A Message From the President

It has been a challenging year for Ohio State football.
The team, administration, and our great alumni and fans have experienced some trying times as we’ve dealt with issues involving our program. We all take a great deal of pride in Ohio State football, and it’s disappointing when it doesn’t live up to the lofty expectations that have been established, whether we are talking about on- or off-field standards.

I’ve been asked quite often about the NCAA violations and allegations made against our program. I wish I had an easy answer that would satisfy everyone, but that is not the case.

The fact is that some serious mistakes were made. As a university, we acknowledge that reality. Those mistakes involve a number of people both inside and outside the program, although I do think the far-reaching nature of the problems has been overstated.

Still, we need to move past the point of meting out blame. As Woody often said, it isn’t getting knocked down that is important, it is how you get up. I have full confidence that regardless of what mistakes were made, we are going to learn from them and take the steps necessary to make sure they do not happen in the future.

We are committed at Ohio State to developing a state-of-the-art, campus-wide compliance program. We will have the best possible protocols and processes in place that ensure we meet our own high bar of success. Buckeyes are about leading, and in this case we will make certain that our compliance standards are impeccable. That is essential.

Since the NCAA investigation process is not complete as of this writing, I can’t share specifics on what will change. I can say that these mistakes have caused people across the university to take a long, hard look at how we handle the business of compliance and the culture of our football program. That self-examination has been fruitful and will lead to some necessary and important steps toward improvement.

In the interim, I know this situation has caused stress for our alumni and fans. Ohio State football is always in the spotlight; and when that spotlight reveals flaws, it can be tough to take. We understand that reality and sympathize with you.

At the same time, I hope you recognize that there are so many reasons to be proud of your university. Unfortunately, the football situation has overshadowed many of Ohio State’s amazing achievements. In some instances, these aren’t being broadly reported in the media, but they show great success in Ohio State’s core work and are evidence that your alma mater is progressing at an exceptional rate.

Here are a few recent and exciting developments, and I would encourage you to share these with others if you have the opportunity:

The OSU Medical Center was recently named among the nation’s top-10 academic medical systems, the only Ohio hospital to make the list.
GE Capital recently pledged $10 million to Ohio State’s Fisher College of Business to help conduct research on middle-market U.S. businesses.
The university’s new freshman class is the strongest in school history, averaging an ACT score of more than 28.
Ohio State ranks second nationally in industry-sponsored research and had a record $829 million research expenditures for fiscal year 2011. This is evidence that the university is making good on its status as one of the country’s top research institutions.
There are other facts I could present that show the great work that is happening here. That is why despite the challenges we are facing with our football team, I feel so confident about where we are headed at Ohio State. We will get past these trying times, and we will be better off for it.