There is a gleam in Urban Meyer’s eye when he talks about the student appreciation day practice he stages each spring at Ohio State, which means the pressure is on Quinn Tempel.
“Coach Meyer loves this day, he wants it to be heavily attended, he wants it to be fun, and he wants there to be access,” said Tempel, the assistant operations manager in charge of coordinating the event. “He wants the students to know we’re thankful they support us, and to know that, while we play for a lot of reasons, first and foremost we play for the university, and the students obviously are one of the biggest factors in that.”
The sixth version will be staged Saturday at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, with doors opening to students at noon. Bus transportation to the facility from three points on campus starts at 11 a.m.
“We’re very conscientious of our most important group of people, and that’s our students,” Meyer said.
He wanted to move the event to Friday night this year for a change of pace because “we’re just concerned that it gets old, ” Meyer said. But it is “Sibs and Kids” weekend, which meant there were events already scheduled around campus.
The practice is open to students with a valid Ohio State ID and their siblings with proper wristbands. Along with getting the usual up-close look at scrimmaging, the students also will be treated to free food and drink, a DJ will provide music, there will be various photo opportunities and there will be several post-practice competitions during which the students mingle with players and coaches.
New this year, Tempel said, will be guided tours of typically off-limits parts of the facility, something students surveyed indicated they’d like to see.
“It’s behind-the-scenes access just for them,” Tempel said. “The idea is to continue to make it special for the students."
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