Ohio State looked into independent schedule after Big Ten postponement

Text messages between Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith and then-president-elect Kristina M. Johnson from August show the school examined the possibility of an independent football schedule following the Big Ten’s initial cancellation of a fall season.

Smith wrote to Johnson on Aug. 12 to say that he was reading their contracts to see if it was permissible to play outside of the conference after she had earlier asked about the idea.  

The exchange was included among thousands of pages of emails and text messages released by the university on Wednesday in response to public-records requests filed by The Columbus Dispatch and other news outlets.

“Anyway to go independent?” Johnson wrote.

“Thanks for your comments boss,,,” Smith replied, “just jumped off university call and on the Big Ten call. Your comments are so appreciated…I am trying to understand our contracts and if we can play independent this year.”

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