Yep, it’s just not raining in Columbus. It’s pouring. Better yet, after this new report from WBNS-10TV in Ohio, it’s now hailing.
Several of Ohio State’s athletic administrators workers drive courtesy cars that are provided by local car dealers, including the director of NCAA compliance, 10 Investigates’ Paul Aker reported on Thursday.
10 Investigates asked for permission to take video of Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith’s Cadillac and Ohio State director of NCAA compliance Doug Archie’s Jeep. The university declined.
Now before we get too ahead of ourselves, it must be said that courtesy cars are the norm for coaches and even the AD. But the compliance officer?
“I don’t understand it,” said Bret Adams, a sports agent who represents both professional and college sports coaches. He said that the arrangement sends a bad message. “I don’t understand why — given the scrutiny that is happening at Ohio State — why the compliance office would risk this relationship?”
We don’t either Bret, especially when this type of arrangement isn’t part of his contract.
For Smith, the Cadillac is part of his deal. He earns $800,000 a year and his contract requires a free car for him and his wife. Archie, who is directly responsible for making sure players don’t go wrong with car dealers, makes $117,000 a year. He does not have a contract that guarantees a free car.
Archie’s car comes from the Buckeye family, Aker reported. He gets his car from Miracle Motor Mart, located at 2380 Morse Crossing. Former 1980s-era Ohio State player Mike D’Andrea, who owns the lot, said he sometimes employs student athletes during the summer.
In exchange for the cars, D’Andrea said he received a pair of season tickets to Ohio State football games.
A university spokesman said that other universities have similar programs.
10 Investigates checked and found the university explanation does not totally hold up. While most Big Ten schools allow their athletic directors to take free cars from dealers, that’s not so for compliance officers.
Columbus, Ohio may soon be underwater.