Ohio State AD Gene Smith: 'Of Course' Recent Michigan Wins Over Buckeyes Should Come With Asterisks

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Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith didn't mince words this weekend when he told Ohio's NPR affiliate that he believes Michigan's recent football victories over the Buckeyes should come with an asterisk because of the Wolverine's sign-stealing scandal. 

"Of course I do," Smith said, laughing on the "All Sides with Anna Staver" show." Smith repeated that "of course I do" before expounding on his view of the scandal. 

"The rules are in place to protect the integrity of the game and try your best to create a level playing field," Smith said. "When those rules are violated, then it affects those principles. We have to keep that in perspective."

According to CBSMichigan has a three-game winning streak over Ohio State: 30-24 in Ann Arbor in 2023, 45-23 in Columbus in 2022 and 47-42 in Ann Arbor in 2021, which snapped an eight-game streak by Ohio State in the rivalry. 

Smith is retiring in July, with Ross Bjork officially taking over the OSU athletic director position. Aside from the past three games between OSU and Michigan, Ohio State has dominated Michigan over the course of Smith's tenure as athletic director. This year, the two teams will meet at Ohio State. 

"I'm not one that looks back," Smith said. "I think what's important for us is to look forward. We host that team up north this fall, and I'm assuming it'll be what it's always been. The last time that we had the level of interest in that game was 2006 with No. 1 vs. No. 2. This year, it probably won't be No. 1 vs. No. 2, but it'll be No. 1 vs. somebody and we need to pack that place. Be in your seat early. Don't wait until the kickoff. Be in your seat early."

Michigan State fans were were not amused with Smith's comments, with many taking to social media to express their disagreement. 

The Spun reported the following objections from Wolverines who posted online: 

"*Aidan Hutchinson wrecked your program," a user said.

"I am collecting Gene Smith tears for a school project," another commented.

"Everything Ohio State could have asked for happened down the stretch, including Jim Harbaugh being out of the picture," Anthony Broome tweeted. "Tears won't reverse the outcome, or else Michigan fans would slap an asterisk on 2016, 2018, 2019. It was settled on the field."

"For a program that keeps insisting they're physical, Ohio State continues to be incredibly soft."

"Ohio State is no longer a serious program. It's a shame," one OSU fan admitted. 

OSU hasn't lost three straight to Michigan since the 1989-1991 seasons. If the Buckeyes somehow lose four straight this year it could mean heads will roll in Columbus.

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