It was Ohio State student appreciation day on Saturday at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, but one student in particular found out his choice of apparel – a blue T-shirt – was not appreciated by coach Urban Meyer.
It was Ohio State student appreciation dayon Saturdayat the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, but one student in particular found out his choice of apparel – ablue T-shirt – was not appreciated by coach Urban Meyer.
Having taken a seated spot in the front row among the estimated 2,500 students who turned out for the fifth annual event, Nate Boufford, 19, a freshman from Cleveland, suddenly found himself in the crosshairs of Meyer. One of the rules of the house is no blue, a primary color of arch-rival Michigan. Reaching up to shake Meyer's hand, Boufford suddenly found the coach telling him to move out of the front row to let a female student wearing gray take the spot.
"I played football, I'm used to getting singled out," Boufford said later, sticking around nonetheless for the entire practice. "It doesn't really bother me that much."
To be fair, his was a Superman T-shirt, with the "S" logo on the front a bright scarlet. That didn't seem to matter to the coach.
"Getting singled out is better than just being one in the crowd," said a smiling Boufford.
But he should not consider the experience to be special treatment from Meyer, who is 4-0 thus far against the Wolverines, OSU senior center and captain Pat Elflein said.
"No blue – don't wear blue in the facility or you will be getting one of these," Elflein said, doing a thumb out. "You'll be out."
However, Elflein said the players were appreciative of that young man's attendance and that of the other students, who afterward mingled with the players and coaches before taking advantage of free food and beverages from Roosters and Meijer.
"We have more students at a practice than some schools have coming to their games," Elflein said. "That's what is pretty cool about Ohio State, the student body is always there supporting us, behind us 100 percent. Away games, they fill the stadium up.
"Our fan base is incredible and that's what makes Ohio State special."