James Grega / BSB

Ohio State Athletic Director Gene Smith Is 'Confident' Thad Matta Can Turn Buckeyes Around

Gene Smith releases a statement about the future of Thad Matta on Wednesday.

Rumors surrounding Thad Matta's future have been swirling around since Ohio State finished 21-14 a season ago with a second round loss to Florida in the National Invitation Tournament. 

On March 8, Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith released a statement regarding Thad Matta and his current standing with the Buckeyes. 

“Recently, Thad and I had a great discussion regarding the future of our Men’s Basketball Program,” Smith said. “Thad’s record at Ohio State is an outstanding 337-122; a winning percentage of .734. He is the all-time wins leader and owns the record for most games coached at Ohio State. His teams have won five Big Ten titles, and made nine NCAA postseason appearances.  What Thad’s teams at Ohio State have accomplished – both on and off the court – is highly commendable.

“While we are not currently where we aspire to be with our performance on the court, Thad understands better than anyone that component has to improve.  I am confident in his leadership to return the program to the winning ways that we have all enjoyed during his 13 year tenure. 

“We have had tremendous success with Thad as our basketball coach. His commitment to developing young men in a holistic way and running our program with the highest of integrity continue to be hallmarks of his leadership.”  

Currently, Ohio State holds a 17-14, 7-11 record, the worst season in Matta's time in Columbus. Unless the Buckeyes make a run and win the Big Ten tournament, it is highly unlikely they would make the NCAA Tournament, which would leave OSU out of the Big Dance for the second year in a row, the first time that has happened under Matta at OSU. 

Matta, 49, has been dealing with health issues for many years concerning his foot and back. He said March 7 that a recruit's father once told him another school told the prospect that Matta was dying in order to persuade him to not go to Ohio State. 

The Buckeyes are set to take on Rutgers tonight in the first round of the Big Ten tournament as the No. 11 seed. 

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