Ohio State would have to study the long-term implications of owning the museum, which opened in 2002 and hasn't met attendance expectations.
'The issue for us is how do we make sure it's a gift and not a liability,' said William Shkurti, senior vice president of business and finance at Ohio State. 'Can it pay for itself?'
The board of trustees is expected to consider the issue at its March 4 meeting.
Museum officials always planned to donate the facility to Ohio State, and taking over management is the first step in that direction, said Lee Lockhart, the museum's executive director.
The university's athletic department would be financially responsible for the building.
Ownership of the memorabilia -- mostly donated by Nicklaus -- would remain with the Jack Nicklaus Private Operating Foundation, which would lend it to OSU, Lockhart said.
Ohio State would add a sports ticket outlet and offices, put Buckeyes' merchandise in the pro shop, and possibly place OSU memorabilia in the museum, said Susan Henderson, chief business officer for OSU athletics.
Nicklaus grew up in suburban Upper Arlington, won the NCAA individual golf championship for Ohio State in 1961 and went on to win 18 major professional championships.
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