Ohio State men's basketball: Pay raise would put Matta in top 10
The Ohio State men’s basketball team has fallen out of the top 10 for now, but athletic director Gene Smith still wants coach Thad Matta in there.
Contract revisions that would increase Matta’s base compensation to more than $3.2 million will be voted on by the university’s board of trustees at its next meeting, Jan. 31 and Feb.1, Smith said yesterday.
“I’ve always tried to keep coaches like Thad” among the 10 highest-paid in the profession, Smith said, “but that (number) keeps moving. I’m committed to having a coach who’s paid consistently with his peers and our expectations.”
Smith said he thinks that among Big Ten coaches, only Tom Izzo of Michigan State is paid more now.
Ohio State is ranked No. 14 this week in the Associated Press top 25. Smith praised Matta for the accomplishments of the Buckeyes not only on the court, with five Big Ten championships and two Final Four appearances the past seven years, but also off.
The program’s Academic Progress Rate has risen from a substandard 911 to 962 (out of 1,000), and 17 of 22 players who completed their eligibility graduated, according to an athletic department release. Four of the five who did not graduate signed to play professionally.
Matta’s base compensation will increase by more than $300,000 per year. The length of the contract was not extended. With rollover years from past performance bonuses, it runs through June 2019.
“One of the things I’m most proud of is what we’ve built here from where we started,” Matta said. “We were at ground zero nine years ago in terms of the uncertainty of the future of the program. We’ve been very, very fortunate.”
— Bob Baptist