Matta: Freshman Ineligibility Not Happening

Ohio State head coach Thad Matta addressed reports that the Big Ten and other conferences are considering a policy that would make freshmen ineligible for competition in college basketball and football.

Earlier this week news broke that the Big Ten was considering the possibility of making freshmen athletes ineligible for competition.

The Diamondback, the student newspaper at Maryland, reported that a document titled "A Year of Readiness" has been circulating the Big Ten. While the Big Ten has been most directly linked with the proposal, Pac-12 and Big 12 commissioners Larry Scott and Bob Bowlsby have both discussed the possibility.

With a week off from competition, Ohio State head coach Thad Matta has been out recruiting and had to deal with the issue first hand.

"I’m dealing with more issues on that in recruiting," Matta told reporters Saturday. "We’re getting crushed in this thing. It’s not going to happen, but why they linked the Big Ten to it I don’t know. I’ve been dealing with that the last couple days trying to explain if it does happen, which it’s not going to, but if it does it’s not just the Big Ten it will be across college basketball. But some of the other colleagues of mine are saying, ‘No it would just be the Big Ten,’ and I’ve got to explain how that goes. It’s been a nightmare. All of our coaches are dealing with it.”

The coach acknowledged that he could not guarantee that freshmen ineligibility wouldn't happen, though he does not anticipate it will. If it were to happen it certainly would not be limited to the Big Ten.

“I don’t know that for a fact," he said. "I probably spoke out of turn there, but I’m a little bit upset that I’ve been dealing with this through the recruiting angles.

"I think that the one thing is it would probably slow down a lot of the vultures out there who have a tendency to ruin this game and ruin kids’ experiences. But I think from that perspective I can’t see it ever getting legs.”

It appears likely that nothing will come from the idea, though it certainly has Matta annoyed on the recruiting trail.


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