Dealing With Freshman Ineligibility Questions Has Been 'A Nightmare' For Thad Matta

By Tim Shoemaker on February 21, 2015 at 1:22 pm
Thad Matta yells.

Freshman ineligibility has only been a topic of conversation for a few days now, but Ohio State head coach Thad Matta is already tired of answering questions about the topic.

"It’s been a nightmare," Matta said Saturday. "All of our coaches are dealing with it.”

Reports surfaced earlier this week that the Big Ten was looking into the idea of making freshmen ineligible to compete in football and men's basketball. It's a far-fetched idea, really, but it appears there's some serious discussion going on.

Matta, however, said he doesn't believe freshmen will ever be ruled ineligible to play. But that doesn't mean he hasn't already been asked about it recently on the recruiting trail.

“I tell you what, I’m dealing with more issues on that in recruiting. We’re getting crushed in this thing," he said. "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."

Either way, the fact it's been linked to the Big Ten has worked against Ohio State to an extent. 

"Some of the other colleagues of mine are saying, ‘No it would just be the Big Ten,’" Matta said. "I’ve got to explain how that goes."

For now, the freshman eligibility debate is just that: a debate. But there's no denying it has already had an impact on recruiting. Matta just doesn't believe it will ever officially become a thing.

"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," Matta said. "But I think from that perspective I can’t see it ever getting legs.”

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