Sept. 28, 2012
COLUMBUS, Ohio-The Ohio State Department of Athletics along with presenting sponsor The Columbus Dispatch held an auction Thursday at Value City Arena to initiate a technology fund for Ohio State student-athletes. The event brought about $450,000 in both live and silent auction items.
The top bid was one of $185,000 for a dinner on the 50-yard line of Ohio Stadium for a group of 24 with Gene Smith, Ohio State associate vice president and director of athletics, Urban Meyer, head football coach, and Thad Matta, head basketball coach.
All proceeds will help support an iPad program for Ohio State student-athletes that began with the 2012 Fall Semester.
The initiative, in collaboration with the Ohio State Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) is a part of Ohio State's Digital First program (digitalfirst.osu.edu) which looks to transform the educational experience on campus through technology. The Department of Athletics initially provided about 500 iPads to select teams. The goal is to provide every student-athlete (about 1,100 total) with the technology by the end of 2013.
The athletics department funded the initial phase and will look to support the project through development opportunities over the next several years. The auction, which will be held every other year, was designed to launch the technology fund. Anyone interested in contributing to this fund can call 614-292-9908 for more information.
The event, titled A Night of Remarkable Experiences, offered bidders a variety of opportunities to interact with Ohio State coaches and receive behind-the-scenes experiences.
Silent auction items included a trip to the Ohio State at Indiana football game Oct. 12-13, training sessions with Mickey Marotti, who heads up Ohio State's football strength and conditioning program, private swim lessons, a trip to Michigan with the wrestling team, a game-day experience with the women's volleyball team and many others.
Live auction items included travel with the football team to Wisconsin, travel with the men's basketball team to Duke, travel with the men's and women's basketball teams to the 2012 Carrier Classic on the USS Yorktown in Charleston, S.C., a major league baseball game day experience with former Buckeye Nick Swisher, and an OSU 2013 Harley Davidson custom motorcycle signed by Meyer and Matta.
Ohio State produced 548 scholar athletes in 2011-12 (minimum 3.0 grade-point average).
Collectively, Ohio State student-athletes in recent years have been some of the most successful in history. The Buckeyes finished No. 2 nationally among NCAA Division I institutions in the annual Director's Cup (2010-11) and again reached a Top 5 finish in 2012 at No. 4. The Director's Cup recognizes overall athletics success with points awarded based on each institution's finish in up to 20 NCAA sports -- 10 women's and 10 men's.
Ohio State provides some of the best opportunities for student-athletes to compete nationally in all phases of personal development. The iPad program offers another vehicle for that development.
With more and more academic books becoming available in electronic form, iPads offer student-athletes a more mobile classroom through its Wi-Fi capabilities.
The project is intended to expand current programs available to Ohio State student-athletes, including:
Enhanced learning through digital technology including e-textbooks, digital course materials and online course programming; this will build on and complement Student-Athlete Support Services' initiative to create iBooks for courses relating to student-athletes
Improved academic productivity during team travel, as students will have easy access to email, Carmen (Ohio State's online course management system), Ohio State library databases, Pages and Numbers for word processing and spreadsheet creation, FaceTime, Skype and other tools that will enable coursework to be completed on the road
Better access to content through applications (apps) that will help students engage with subject matter
Increased time management and stronger study skills through apps designed to help college students manage their hectic schedules and workloads
Better services for students with learning disabilities via assistive technology
Stronger familiarity with the latest innovative technology that will prove valuable for student-athletes in the classroom as well as the 21st century workplaces they will join after graduation
The iPads will be available to the student-athletes on an issuance and retrieval basis.
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