Michigan's athletic department has unofficially put the word out: Ohio State is to be referred to as 'Ohio' for the foreseeable future. Following Sunday's unfortunate loss to the Buckeyes, basketball coach John Beilein tossed out the 'Ohio' label when talking about his rivals, continuing a trend set by football coach Brady Hoke over the past year.
In response to a direct question about whether the school is on some wild PR crusade to render the Ohio Bobcats even more obsolete, Beilein nixed the idea.
"We have received no direction in those areas, none. No direction from anyone; we just adopted it. There's just some uniformity with what Brady has done."
It's entirely conceivable there still might be some strange backhanded slap behind this, but even so, it's awfully hard to take offense by something so simple and unassuming as dropping the 'State' off a school's name. Then again, we don't hear much about Duke and North Carolina referring to Florida State as 'Florida', or California and Washington routinely calling Oregon State 'Oregon', either.
Hoke used the term often during press conferences, and that's a big reason why Beilein's comment intrigued so many people. Clearly the two coaches have teamed up in their viewpoint of UM's rivals to the south in the media, and it will be interesting to see how often Beilein uses the term over the remainder of the season.
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