On Sept. 5, Ohio State opened its 2009 football season against Navy. This home opener would be different from the rest. Usually, visiting players to Ohio Stadium face an intimidating scene when they run out of the tunnel before 100,000-plus loyal Buckeye fans. But on this day, the visitors were cheered. Leading up to the game, the Ohio State athletic department encouraged fans to stand and applaud the Navy players as they took the field. The university circulated an online video that read: “Buckeyes know there are some things more important than football… service to your country and respecting and appreciating those who serve.” At halftime, former Ohio senator and U.S. Navy pilot John Glenn was given the privilege of “dotting the I” with the OSU alumni band. The honor is considered the greatest distinction the band can bestow on any non-band member. The university went further and encouraged other programs that were playing service academies throughout the season to conduct similar tributes. Ohio State showed a great deal of respect, admiration, and gratitude to those who toil on the real battlefields long after football is over.
Ohio State University is being recognized by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics.