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November 16, 1987

Rick Bay, Ohio State athletic director, indicated that Earle Bruce will return as the Buckeye football coach next year.

The Columbus Dispatch, quoting anonymous sources close to the school's board of trustees, reported that the trustees voted informally on Nov. 6 not to retain Bruce.

Ohio State, in the midst of its worst season in 21 years, has lost three straight and is 3-4 in the Big Ten Conference and 5-4-1 overall. Bruce is in the second year of a three-year contract.

"I'm behind Earle Bruce 100%," Bay said, adding that the outcome of Saturday's game against rival Michigan would not have a bearing on Bruce's job.

"The point is, he's in the second year of a three-year contract. As athletic director, I fully intend to honor that contract," Bay said. "I think it speaks to the credibility of the university to do that."

Hamilton J. Teaford, a member of the trustees, denied in a television interview Saturday night that the trustees had voted on whether Bruce will remain coach, but would not say whether the board supports Bruce.

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