Smith Won't Interview At Texas

Within an hour of a report that Gene Smith was among the candidates to take over as athletics director at Texas, the Ohio State AD said in a statement that he is not planning to leave Columbus for Austin.

In what might have been the quickest non-story story of the year, Ohio State director of athletics Gene Smith became a candidate and then not a candidate for the same job at Texas this afternoon.

Austin American Statesman writer Kirk Bohls posted this afternoon that Smith would be among those to interview for the opening at Texas when the school begins interviews. Bohls' report was based on a "highly placed source at a Big 12 school."

Texas AD DeLoss Dodds is retiring in August 2014, the school announced in early October.

At 3:06 p.m., Smith said that report was inaccurate.

"I have the greatest respect for the University of Texas and one of my mentors, DeLoss Dodds," Smith said. "I am fortunate to have the opportunity to be the athletics director at The Ohio State University. Reports of me interviewing at the University of Texas are inaccurate."

Smith was hired at Ohio State in 2005 and is also a university vice president. He has previously served as AD at Arizona State, Iowa State and Eastern Michigan.

At Ohio State, the 57-year old Smith oversees the nation's most comprehensive and one of its most successful collegiate athletics programs. The department sponsors 36 fully-funded varsity sports with more than 1,000 student-athletes.

Smith has additional oversight responsibility for a recently created Business Advancement Division of Ohio State which includes: Schottenstein Center, Nationwide Arena, Blackwell Hotel, Drake Union, Fawcett Center, and Trademark & Licensing.

Smith also oversees one of the few athletics departments in the country that is completely self-supporting; it receives no university funds, tax dollars or student fees.

Smith's handling of the 2010-11 NCAA case that cost the school head coach Jim Tressel and ended with last year's undefeated team being banned from postseason play has been criticized heavily by fans. At the same time, his department has improved academics for student-athletes immensely through study abroad, internship and individualized academic plans.

On the field, OSU's two major revenue-producing sports are among the top 10 in the nation on a yearly basis, and the Buckeyes second, fourth and 16th in the Directors Cup standings the past three years.

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