Like it or not, Ohio State’s Thad Matta is going to be the Buckeyes’ head basketball coach for the 2017-2018. The Buckeyes are coming off two extremely disappointing seasons consecutively and a string of seemingly more misses than hits on the recruiting trail.
While the 2018 recruiting class seems to be something to write home about and with some much needed depth on the way, it’s hard to imagine how things could get any worse for men’s basketball. One possible reason for those struggles, according to Matta, is some especially irresponsible speculation on the recruiting trail.
Matta’s back issues have been well documented. And even in the aforementioned Yahoo! Sports’ report, they stated the only chance of Matta not returning would be the result of those health frustrations and not any on the court ones. But apparently at least one coach has been taking Matta’s back problems to near inconceivable lengths.
"It's been used for probably the last eight years to be honest to you. Somebody told a recruit I was dying. Not that my foot didn't lift but that I was going to die. Tough business I'm in here,” Matta said in a video captured by Buckeye Grove.
"It was funny because the kid was going to have a press conference and the father said they were going to delay it. I said 'I understand. Why?' 'Health issues'. I said, 'What's going on?' 'Well, it's your health. They told us you're going to die.'"
Matta reiterated that he’s never missed a day of work in his nearly 30 year coaching career and that he’s never even been hampered on the recruiting trail as a result of his back problems.
If Matta’s going to be the one to get the basketball program back on track, his odds of doing so probably won’t be limited because he’s on his death bed. At least not any more than any of the rest of us are.
All may be fair in love, war, and recruiting. But telling kids that an opposing coach is going to die? That’s crossing a line, in our opinion.