How much will Ohio State men's basketball pay for its five 'buy' games this season?
Ohio State will pay a total of $460,000 for its five non-conference “buy” games in the 2021-22 men’s basketball season.
According to documents provided to The Dispatch via a records request, the Buckeyes will pay Akron and Niagara $95,000 each and New Orleans, Tennessee Martin and Towson $90,000 apiece to play at Value City Arena.
In addition, the Buckeyes will pay Division II foe Indianapolis $10,000 to participate in a Nov. 1 exhibition game.
Not surprisingly, COVID-19 factors into the contracts. Like last season, all payouts are contingent on the games being played, and should either team be unable to participate due to the virus, Ohio State is not legally obligated to pay its opponent.
Teams will again have to follow testing protocols. Opponents will be required to arrive at Ohio State at least 24 hours before the scheduled tip-off time, and have all who traveled with the team immediately undergo Big Ten rapid point-of-care antigen testing. The process will be repeated between 2-6 hours before the game.
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Whether a positive test results in cancellation depends on how often opponents are testing. If a team is testing 6-7 days a week, a single positive will not force a cancellation. Otherwise, one positive PCR test from a team either in the 14 days prior to the game or either of the two Big Ten rapid tests will result in the game being canceled.
Each game contract features a two-page COVID-19 testing protocol addendum.
The Buckeyes will participate in the Fort Myers Tip-Off, which was initially slated to be a four-game multi-team event but was reduced to three games last year as the NCAA curtailed the number of allowable games for an MTE. The Buckeyes will host Bowling Green, and as part of the contract they will pay promoter Intersport $95,000 for the game. Ohio State will play its first game in Fort Myers against Seton Hall.
Of the five buy games at Value City Arena this year (Akron, New Orleans, Niagara, Tennessee Martin and Towson), Ohio State is not paying any expenses related to transportation, lodging or food.
Akron, Niagara and Towson, all of which had games at Ohio State canceled last year when the start of the season was pushed back, are receiving the same payout this year with one exception: Akron will receive 250 tickets to this year’s game, down from the 500 it was allotted last season.
A signed game contract for Ohio State’s appearance in the CBS Sports Classic has not yet been finalized, but that step is just a formality. The Buckeyes will face Kentucky at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena on December 18.