Football – The Only Answer

From Evan Silverman for First College Visit, a series of first college visit stories by business professionals sponsored by SmartCollegeVisit. Silverman was recently a featured guest on SmartCollegeVisit's #CampusChat:

Evan Silverman's Baby Buckeye Growing up on the East Coast, more specifically in New York City, my family was in shock when I told them I wanted to go to the Ohio State University.  Not because Ohio State was such a huge school, so far away from home, but because I was 9.

Back then, in the seventies, I was glued to the television every Saturday afternoon to watch the Ohio State Buckeyes play whomever.  I sat mesmerized as the “best damn band in the land” famously dotted the “I” and Woody Hayes led the Buckeyes onto the field.  But, nothing topped the Ohio State/Michigan game – “The Granddaddy of Them All.”  I was sold.

I made my first visit to the campus in the fall of 1987.  It was exactly what I expected – Buckeye football.  The campus was beautiful, but Ohio Stadium was spectacular.  My father hounded me for a legitimate reason to go there.  My only answer:  "Football.”  The more politically correct answer was probably, “Because according to US News & World Report, Ohio State is ranked 18th among all public universities.   Also, the Fisher College of Business is ranked 16th in the nation and 7th among public universities.  And, they have a great football program.”

So, I applied, was accepted and enrolled in the fall of 1988.  My years at the Ohio State University were definitely some of the best years of my life.  Most importantly, I received an excellent education and friendships to last a lifetime – not to mention, we always have a damn good football team.

Nothing wrong with knowing what you want early in life, my 4 1/2 year old daughter seems to be on the right path.

Evan Silverman is founder of Chicago-based WilliamPaid, LLC.


First College Visit on Handshake 2.0, a series of first college visit stories by business professionals, is sponsored by SmartCollegeVisit, a college visit portal with tools and resources for campus visit travel planning, college visit advice from parents to parents, not-to-miss Smart See, Smart Do college campus sites, and more. You're invited to follow SmartCollegeVisit on Twitter and to like SmartCollegeVisit on Facebook.

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  1. Great story, Evan. Having a big-time sports program really adds to the sense of community on a campus – and it’s a lot of fun! Some of my fondest memories of college were spent inside Cameron Indoor (and even outside camping for tickets!)
    -Jeff S, Duke ’06

  2. Well, Evan, you’ve answered a question I often wondered about — will students really choose a school because of the football team? I think it just goes to show that the fun you’ll have as a college student is as important as what you study. Thank you for sharing your story with us!

  3. Evan – I love that you chose your college based on the campus, your passion for their football team and the high academic ranking. All 3 should be factors in every college bound student’s overall decision. Many people think that decision is the hardest part but in reality, it is how to pay for that decision. You know the answer quite well and based on your website, you have provided the perfect resource for people making that decision. Thanks for sharing your story and the adorable picture of your daughter.

  4. Kelly,

    Thank you for the opportunity to post the story. I had a lot of fun writing it.

    Jeff S.,

    Can’t get much better than “Coach K’s Court”!! And, you’re right, a big-time sports program does add to the sense of community on campus. What it also does is bring everyone back together after they graduate. Good times.

  5. You’re welcome, Evan. I’m pleased to sponsor the series on behalf of SmartCollegeVisit, but Anne Clelland, founder of Handshake 2.0, came up with the idea and we’ve both enjoyed finding business professionals open to sharing stories about what their college visits and experiences have meant to them. Thanks again for being part of this.

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