COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The fax machine is still working just fine for Ohio State.
The key to using that somewhat antiquated technology is simply making sure there’s enough paper to make it through national signing day.
The Buckeyes basically had no issues in putting together another top-five class on Wednesday, avoiding any decommitments, adding a coveted junior-college transfer and putting the finishing touches on their class before lunch. But there was one last-minute delay, though it was on the receiving end in the Woody Hayes Athletic Center when the last national letter of intent was late in arriving after the Buckeyes ran out of paper.
“We just laughed about it,” director of player personnel Mark Pantoni said after the last of the 18 signatures had officially arrived at Ohio State. “[Wide receiver] Binjimen Victor was the last one, and we kept waiting for it to come and he kept saying he sent it. [Wide receivers coach] Zach Smith had been sitting there for about five minutes, and then somebody figured out we were out of paper.
“All we could do was laugh about it.”
The Buckeyes could conceivably do more than joke about the dated form of communication. A couple schools have already done that, moving to digital filing of the scholarship papers, locking in a recruit and a program.
But other than a little operator error, Ohio State had no complaints about using the otherwise trusty fax machine, which gets a workout on the first Wednesday of February.
“We’re just caught up in our ways,” Pantoni said with a laugh. “I’ve seen a few schools that have done that [and gone digital], and we haven’t talked about it because it’s just one of those things -- if it’s not broke, don’t fix it.
“It’s a staple of signing day, and you’ve just got to do it. It’s almost like, as technology advances, you don’t change your ways. And it’s part of the fun.”
Especially when the paper tray is fully loaded and a four-star signature rolls in to wrap up the day.