Regardless of your thoughts on Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith, one of the most powerful amongst a select few figures in and around Ohio State athletics is about to have the ear of the NCAA's President.
In a initiative said to be an effort to better incorporate those closer to the pulse of college athletics, Emmert announced Saturday he'd be forming a council of 10 athletic directors from across the country who he'd regularly hold counsel with. Perhaps in an attempt to both clarify enforcement actions (which is said in its current state to be near lawlessness in terms of enforceability) and also solicit feedback on things like rule changes (the NCAA would obviously like to avoid the backlash to the still often misunderstood proposed changes on the deregulations of contact with prospective student athletes), president Mark Emmert will routinely hold summit with some of the industry's best, brightest, and most reputable.
Amongst those who's feedback will be solicited is Ohio State's Gene Smith. Smith is in his ninth year on the year on the job and has seen the highest of highs for the Ohio State athletic department as well as arguably the lowest of lows. While the department is considered by in large to be in solid-to-good shape at present moment, opinions of the athletic director likely still skew towards the negative amongst Ohio State graduates and fans.
Joining Smith are Kentucky's Mitch Barnhart, San Jose State's Gene Bleymaier, Arizona's Greg Byrne (a name who'd been tossed around much of the last week), Kansas State's John Currie, Central Michigan's Dave Heeke, Connecticut's Warde Manuel, Clemson's Dan Radakovich, FCS Montana State's Peter Fields, and 1-AAA (that's a thing?) Denver's Peg Bradley-Doppes.
Whether this initiative is just more posturing/lip service or actual leads to read change in college athletics, we'll have to wait and see.