COLUMBUS, Ohio – Gene Smith, assistant vice president and director of athletics at The Ohio State University, has been selected as a final nominee in the Athletic Director of the Year category for the inaugural Sports Business Awards presented by Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Journal and SportsBusiness Daily.

Smith, named Ohio State director of athletics March 5, 2005, is one of four finalists. Jeff Hathaway of the University of Connecticut, Lew Perkins from the University of Kansas and Ron Wellman of Wake Forest University join Smith as finalists for the award.

SportsBusiness Journal and SportsBusiness Daily will honor the best in sports business with the inaugural Sports Business Awards at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in New York City May 29. Athletic Director of the Year is one of 11 categories.

In the last month, Ohio State athletics teams have finished among the best in the nation in several sports. The fencing team claimed the NCAA championship in Columbus, Ohio, the wrestling team earned a second-place standing in the NCAA championships in St. Louis and synchronized swimming placed second at the U.S. collegiate nationals, which also took place in Columbus.

In addition, seven Buckeyes were crowned individual national champions in men’s and women’s diving, fencing, pistol and wrestling, while synchronized swimming captured the team routine title. Ohio State’s men’s basketball team plays in the championship game of the 2008 National Invitation Tournament at 7 p.m. Thursday in New York City.

For more information on the inaugural Sports Business Awards presented by Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Journal and SportsBusiness Daily, visit the links above.

About Ohio State Athletics
The Ohio State University Department of Athletics sponsors 36 fully funded varsity teams 17 for women, 16 for men and three co-educational. The department is committed to providing its more than 900 student-athletes with the finest in academic and athletics support in order to ensure a quality and life-enhancing experience. The Department of Athletics is completely self-supporting and receives no university monies, tax dollars or student fees. In Fiscal Year 2007-08, the Department of Athletics will transfer back to the University more than $25 million in assessments, including nearly $17 million in grant-in-aid costs.