Dayton Athletic Director Neil Sullivan explained the difference in an email to season-ticket holders this week.
“The game itself will be a traditional basketball exhibition game format with players competing hard, but we ask our fans to welcome and support Ohio State players, coaches and fans as partners in a bigger cause instead of rivaled opponents during this game,” Sullivan wrote.
During the game, fans will see videos and public service announcements during about mental health and suicide prevention.
“We recognize that can be a difficult topic,” Sullivan wrote. “Our media and game timeouts will be used for special programing and public service announcements to promote mental health and wellness. We will recognize champions of adolescent and young adult mental health and suicide prevention and promote various organizations. You will notice different programming throughout the game that demonstrates a spirit of purpose and partnership surrounding mental health awareness.”
The game is the final part of a series of events honoring Dayton coach Anthony Grant’s late daughter Jay. A mental health resource fair will be held at UD Arena from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday. Doors open at 5 p.m. Fans can meet UD’s men’s basketball players and visit exhibits to learn about local organizations that support mental health.
There will also be a Town Hall event featuring multiple speakers. The program will focus “on the mental health needs of adolescents and young adults,” according to UD.
All net ticket proceeds from the game and the events preceding it will benefit the Ohio Suicide Prevention Foundation, the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Ohio and other local organizations.