By Matt McCoy
I hope you like night games because the football Buckeyes are going to have at least three of them next season and maybe more.
ABC and ESPN released its initial schedule of primetime games and the Buckeyes will play under the lights in the home opener September 6 against Virginia Tech, on October 25 at Penn State and on November 1, at home against Illinois. The game against the Illini will mark the first November night game in Ohio Stadium history.
All three games will kickoff at 8 p.m. ESPN carries the Virginia Tech game. The games at Penn State and vs. Illinois will be on either ABC, ESPN or ESPN2.
Don't be surprised if Ohio State ends up with two more night games. The Big Ten Network reveals its schedule of primetime games next Tuesday, April 22. There are multiple reports that the Buckeye home game against Cincinnati September 27 could be at night.
In addition, ABC/ESPN has the option to add games to its primetime schedule and Bill Rabinowitz of the Dispatch reported that Ohio State Director of Athletics Gene Smith has been asked if the Buckeyes would object to the November 8 game at Michigan State being at night.
"We were asked if we were OK with that game being at night," Smith told The Dispatch. "And the answer was yes."
Almost from the moment Urban Meyer arrived at Ohio State he expressed interest in playing more night games. Clearly he's getting his wish.
Shabazz Gets Fed
Just 10 days after Final Four Most Outstanding Player Shabazz Napier of Connecticut talked of "going to bed starving," the NCAA voted to allow an unlimited food supply for student athletes.
Napier's comments, posted above, drew national reaction. I blogged about it at the time wondering whether Napier, who was fed three square meals a day, understood the difference between starving and being a college kid who didn't have money to grab a midnight snack. Napier's college days are over but the problem has been solved for athletes in college now or coming in the future. They can all sleep with full bellies.
The NCAA release announcing the new provision allows member institutions to make food available to athletes "in addition to the meal plan provided as part of a full scholarship. Prior to this change scholarship student athletes received three meals a day or a food stipend."
The appearance is that Napier's comments prompted the move but this provision has been under consideration for some time. Nonetheless, it is a public win for college athletes, who are becoming increasingly vocal in their dissatisfaction with the NCAA. Just ask Northwestern.