Sports Psychology, Strength & Conditioning, Others Preserved in Ohio State Budget Cuts
The Ohio State University Department of Athletics announced details regarding its budget for the 2021 fiscal year Wednesday morning. Efforts are being focused on mitigating a projected $107 million revenue loss as it relates to the ongoing CoVID pandemic.
Among the cuts and reductions in force were multiple blows to staff members, including 25 full-time positions unfortunately being eliminated and many others either furloughed or redeployed.
“We care about our family here,” Smith began. “It’s hard across the board because the lives of 25 people were significantly altered throughout this process. These are challenging times but we will do our best to help them as they go about rethinking their careers.”
None of those layoffs, however, came in the form of sport psychologists or strength and conditioning personnel.
“Our primary objective was making sure to try and protect the needs of our student-athletes,” Smith explained. “We felt it was particularly important for this fall, with no other sports going on, that there should be an ongoing service while they are still here training and being tested. That part of our personnel team is critical to the well-being of our student-athletes, so it’s important to keep online at all times.”
The Ohio State athletic staff directory currently lists four members in the sports psychology division; Jamey Houle (lead sport psychologist), Chelsi Day (sport psychologist), Charron Sumler (athletic counselor) and Candice Williams (athletic counselor).
Additionally, the Buckeyes feature 20 names in Strength and Conditioning (headlined by Mickey Marotti) and another six listed under the Sports Nutrition umbrella. Preserving these roles, combined with not eliminating any varsity-sport programs, certainly suggests the department’s emphasis on maintaining the student-athlete experience throughout this difficult year.
“None of us has ever experienced what’s happening right now with the pandemic, “Smith noted. “It causes you to think differently about a lot of things that we have learned and are now forced to deal with.”
While the Big Ten has reinstated football season, scheduled to begin the weekend of October 24, the league is still delaying all other fall sports to 2021. Pending final approval in the coming weeks, the NCAA’s Division I Board of Directors is expected to set championship dates in the spring.