"Fundraising in such a complex, distributed environment makes it virtually impossible to isolate independent variables that have a significant impact on our overall success. There are any number of factors at any moment that influence fundraising."
- David Ripple, vice president of development
Ohio State recently released fundraising figures for the last half of 2014 and the numbers are down 12 percent when compared to the same period in 2013. While the $175.3 million that was raised between July 1 and December 31 is still an impressive number, in 2013 the university was gifted $199 million dollars. Ohio State has set a goal to raise $425 million dollars by the end of the fiscal year on June 30, and the donations in the last half of 2014 have seen them fulfill 41 percent of their goal. One of the reasons the numbers could have dropped off in 2014 is in 2013 there was two gifts of $18.5 million given to the university, while there wasn't any large donations like that this year.
The donation numbers in the last half of 2014 may have dropped off, but the good news is the university doesn't believe that decrease is due to the firing of marching band director Jon Waters on July 24th. A number of marching band alumni members said they would withhold donations after the firing of Waters, but Ohio State officials say there are too many variables to blame the firing of Waters for the drop-off. It isn't all bad news on the fundraising end though, as with a football national championship and a number of large gifts on the way, there is still plenty of time for those numbers to rebound and for Ohio State to meet their goal.
"You never really know what to expect when new guys come in. You may have a gut feeling that, 'Hey, this kid has a chance to be pretty good.' But you don't know. There's just so many intangibles that go into a kid's development."
- Thad Matta
When Ohio State takes on Maryland tonight, two of the best freshman guards in the country will be going head-to-head. Maryland's Melo Trimble and Ohio State's D'Angelo Russell both rank in the top 10 in Big Ten games in scoring and are in the top five nationally in offensive efficiency, which means viewers could see quite a scoring duel tonight. It isn't a big surprise to see both players excelling in their freshman year after both were McDonald's All Americans and five-star recruits.
In the case of Russell it is even more amazing to see his growth during his short time with the Buckeyes after he arrived nine days later than his teammates in Columbus due to NCAA eligibility issues. It didn't take Russell long to find his stride with the Buckeyes, scoring 32 points in his third college game, and he is currently averaging 19.4 points per game. It is hard to not take notice of just how skilled Russell is, which is why DraftExpress.com has him slotted as the second overall pick in their 2015 mock draft, just behind Duke freshman Jahlil Okafor. It is scary to think of just where Ohio State might be this year without Russell, but thankfully Buckeye fans will have a couple more months to enjoy watching the fabulous freshman lead Ohio State.
"You know how long we talked about that? Maybe 10 minutes. He wanted to finish his degree. He is close. I wanted him to get it in the spring, but he may have to wait until (the fall). He wants to be a financial planner. He wants the degree. I didn't talk him into anything."
- Ted Ginn Sr. on Cardale Jones' decision
Just a few weeks ago Cardale Jones shocked many people around the country when he announced from Ginn Academy in Cleveland that he decided to return to Ohio State instead of declaring himself eligible for the NFL Draft. Ginn was one of the advisors who Jones sought advice from, and according to Ginn the conversation between the two on whether or not Jones would return to Columbus wasn't a very long one. While the lure of the NFL and the money that comes along with it had to have been enticing, Jones sounds to be more focused on earning his degree from Ohio State and setting himself up for a life after football.
Jones is just one of 22 players Ginn has coached since becoming Glenville head coach in 1997 who have earned a scholarship to play at Ohio State. Jones will try and follow in the footsteps of former Glenville quarterback Troy Smith, who won a Heisman Trophy while playing for the Buckeyes. Between coaching the Tarblooders and running Ginn Academy, the 59-year old has plenty on his plate and his efforts are even more amazing since in 2012 he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Ginn lost half of his pancreas and all of his spleen after the diagnosis, but a recent trip to the doctor showed he is recovering well. This will give Ginn even more time to lead plenty of young men in the Glenville area not only on the football field but also in the classroom and in life.
"One of the questions was 'what are you going to do if a coach throws a video at you and says it's all wrong?' I said, 'the first thing I'm going to do is duck so I don't get hit.'"
- Mark Quisenberry, Ohio State Director of Football Video
While last week many of the bonuses for the football coaching staff were revealed, one of the most unheralded members of the Ohio State football program is Mark Quisenberry, who is the director of football video. Quisenberry may have had dreams to be a congressman or President of the United States while he was political science major at Western Kentucky, but he has excelled in his role at Ohio State. Now Quisenberry has been a member of two Ohio State national championship teams after being hired in his current role in 2002.
Quisenberry is responsible for filming and organizing practice and game videos for the Buckeyes. The former soccer player got his start under Jack Harbaugh at Western Kentucky, first as equipment manager before taking the reigns as video coordinator in 1990. Before taking the position at Ohio State, he was in charge of football video at North Carolina State. Times may have changed for Quisenberry, after starting out dealing with VHS, now film can be obtained on-line for quick viewing for Ohio State coaches on their iPads. Not a bad gig for a guy who was hoping to be involved in politics years ago.
STICK TO SPORTS
- Ohio State is one of only two schools to offer a fitness class sponsored by Nike.
- In case you've been living under a rock, Kyrie Irving had himself a game last night.
- This weekend is the Columbus Winter Beerfest at the Greater Columbus Convention Center.
- Go home Cancun, you're drunk.
- My money would've been on "Puppy Chris Christie" to have the accident on last night's 'Conan'.