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Another Field Bites the Dust


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COLLEGE NEWSWATCH OSU picks artificial surface

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Doug Lesmerises

Plain Dealer Reporter

It's not a shock to anyone who watched the Ohio State Buckeyes and their opponents slip and slide across three different grass fields this season, but Ohio Stadium will go to an artificial surface next year.

It was easy to read between the lines this season and find OSU coach Jim Tressel's preference for an artificial surface, which the Buckeyes already use at their indoor practice field at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. And Ohio State Athletic Director Gene Smith hopes to draw the state's high school football championships back to the Horseshoe, and an artificial surface would facilitate that desire.

In a story posted on the Web site for Ohio State's Horticulture and Crop Science department, Brian Gimbel, the school's sportsturf manager said, "With plans for the number of events on the field to increase substantially, an artificial surface seems like the best choice."

Gimbel said the plan is to resurface the field and repair the drainage system after the spring football game in April. Ohio State removed a failing four-year old grass surface after three home games this season, then took out that field after three more games, the renovations costing more than $150,000. The final surface was used for the Michigan game and then ripped apart by fans after the win.

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My feeling is if the grass won't sit and hold after repeated attempts over the years, they have no choice. The Patriots switch seemed to go OK.

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