Hondo S. Carpenter, Sr. Spartan Nation

A High School Recruit Was Told That OSU Head Coach Thad Matta Was 'Dying'

Buckeye basketball head coach Thad Matta was informed by a recruit's father that he and his son were told Matta was 'dying.'

Recruiting is challenging enough, especially when a prospect is told that a college basketball head coach is dying. That’s exactly what happened to Ohio State mentor Thad Matta, who has been dealing with various health issues for a number of years.  

“It’s been used for probably the last eight years to be honest with you,” Matta said Tuesday of his health issues being used against him in recruiting. “Somebody told a recruit I was dying. Swear to God. Not that my foot didn’t lift, but that I was going to die. It’s a tough business I’m in here.

“The kid was going to have a press conference and the father called me and told me they were going to delay it. I said, ‘I understand. Why?’ He said, ‘Health issues.’ I said, ‘What’s going on?’ He said, ‘Well, it’s your health. They’ve told us you’re going to die.’ I said, ‘I’ve never missed a day of work, I’ve never missed a day of recruiting, I’ve never missed a game.’ I hope it doesn’t happen.”

Matta told this story less than 24 hours after a report was released stating that he would be back next season as the head coach of the team, despite his health. While some may think health issues hold Matta back from doing his job, he is not concerned about what the naysayers believe. 

“If I let stuff bother me, what people thought about me, I wouldn’t be here today,” said Matta, who is in his 17th season as a college basketball head coach. “Somebody asked me today if I wanted a statement to be put out. I said, ‘I could care less. You don’t need to do that.’ I’m fine. Honestly, I do, I feel really good."

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