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No regrets on aircraft games despite issues
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On November 10, 2012 @ 12:00 pm In All,Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by Nicole Auerbach, USA TODAY Sports
Despite the Ohio State-Marquette basketball game aboard the USS Yorktown being canceled due to condensation on the court, Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith told USA TODAY Sports Saturday morning he’d “definitely do it again.”
“We’d work with the operators to see if we could do it in a way to ensure that we could avoid what we encountered this year,” Smith said, suggesting that it might be better to try to play the games earlier in the day.
Smith pointed out that the Ohio State-Marquette game — scheduled to be played off the coast of South Carolina — and Florida-Georgetown — which was played off the coast of Jacksonville and made it through a half of basketball before cancellation because of moisture on the court — were the first foray into east coast aircraft carrier games.
“The weather differential is significantly different than San Diego, where (the Carrier Classic) was last year, so I think it was a different experience for the operators and us,” Smith said. “None of us anticipated we’d have an inclement weather situation.”
The game was the least important part of the experience, Smith said, even though the fact that it didn’t get played is receiving a great deal of attention at the moment.
“The real focus is being lost,” Smith said. “I wish every sportswriter could have the opportunity to see the engagement with the military that occurred. That’s what it’s all about. These people protect our freedom. The opportunity to generate some funds to help them and to have our student-athletes interact with them and bring joy to their lives is — you know, the game is not the biggest benefit here.
“There’s people who will say we shouldn’t do it again but I’d look at doing it again in a minute in the right situation.”
Captain Greg Hicks, the deputy chief of Navy information, attended the Navy-Marine Corps Classic between Florida and Georgetown and said, “it was an absolutely incredible experience.”
“I’m pretty sure all the sailors and Marines involved will be richer for the experience,” Hicks told USA TODAY Sports, estimating that more than 1,000 members of the … [For more on No regrets on aircraft carrier hoops games despite issues, click here.]
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