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OSU Ponders Future of Blackwell Name

Former Ohio State marketing professor Roger Blackwell reported this afternoon to the federal prison in Morgantown, West Virginia, to begin serving time for his insider trading conviction. The 65-year-old Blackwell was sentenced last month to a six-year term for telling friends and family members about a corporate merger. Their subsequent stock trades netted nearly $900,000 dollars. Meanwhile the University has not decided what it will do with the name on the Blackwell Inn. WOSU's Sam Hendren reports.

It was business as usual outside the Roger D. Blackwell Inn on the Ohio State campus. Several conference attendees waiting for valets to bring their cars declined comment on the link between the Blackwell name and the University. One man who said he knew the former professor described his conviction and imprisonment as "unfortunate." OSU administrators still have not decided whether Blackwell's name will remain at the hotel. A spokeswoman for the University says, "...the matter...remain[s] under discussion." A public relations executive says keeping the name will ultimately hurt the University's reputation. Mario Almonte is a vice president with New York's Herman Associates.

"Roger Blackwell has contributed toward the naming of the hotel. For them it's not really worth it from a public relations standpoint. It's always going to be associated with a person who's been convicted of certain crimes," says Almonte.

Blackwell has given Ohio State nearly $1.5 million dollars and had pledged several more million in future contributions. He's asking a federal appeals court to overturn his conviction and sentence which includes a $1 million fine. Sam Hendren, WOSU News.