The Ohio State Buckeyes men’s basketball team was short one key player during Saturday’s 68-59 win over the Indiana Hoosiers, as freshman guard D.J. Carton announced that he would be stepping away from the team temporarily as he deals with some personal issues.
Following the win on Saturday, Holtmann voiced his full-throated support of Carton as he deals with what the player called “mental health issues.” In addition, Holtmann called the thinking of people questioning his decision to support Carton “idiotic” and said that it made him angry.
“He’s a 19-year-old young man going through all the things that go along with being a highly-recruited young man, and expectations, and the normal struggles that you and I have who are not in our players’ position,” Holtmann said. “The day to day struggles that we go through are real.”
"We're going to support this kid. We believe that's the best thing to do."— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) February 1, 2020
Chris Holtmann fully supports DJ Carton stepping away to address his mental health, and calls out those who have questioned the @OhioStateHoops freshman. pic.twitter.com/MW6B7QtbKj
Holtmann went on to say that he has seen a close friend and colleague deal with similar issues up close, and that has informed his approach to dealing with his players in a more compassionate and understanding manner.
Following the Buckeyes’ game against Indiana, Jennifer Carton — D.J.’s mother — posted a message on Twitter in which she expresses her gratitude or those who have been supportive of her son’s decision, especially Holtmann and the rest of the OSU program.
Speaking of the support and treat that D.J. has gotten from Ohio State, she said, “It has been outstanding and DJ will continue to receive care from OSU staff and confide in his coaches and teammates as he takes this time away.”
Thank you to DJ’s many supporters❤️ pic.twitter.com/pOnsRAJX0v— Jennifer Carton (@meeker1015) February 2, 2020
Tangentially, Ohio State head football coach Ryan Day and his wife Christina have been very outspoken about mental health issues and started The Christina And Ryan Day Fund For Pediatric And Adolescent Mental Wellness.
We wish D.J. and his family all the best while he works through his situation.