NCAA BK

Ohio State revises Matta's contract

Image: Ohio State coach Thad Matta (© Gene J. Puskar/AP)
Thad Matta is under contract at Ohio State through July 2019.
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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP)

Ohio State coach Thad Matta has agreed to a revised contract which will give him a 10 percent increase to more than $3.2 million annually and includes academic bonuses and more stringent wording about NCAA violations.

With years he had already earned through job performance, the five-time Big Ten champion coach will be under contract through July 2019.

Matta's first eight Ohio State teams have each won at least 20 games and are 13-4 this season and ranked No. 14. He has a record of 234-69 with the Buckeyes after taking over a team that was on probation.

''One of the things I'm most proud of is what we've built here, from where we started,'' he said. ''You look at what we've been able to accomplish, I'm a lot more proud of that than I am of a contract. I feel as blessed as I can be to be at Ohio State. I love this university. I'm extremely grateful in terms of what they have allowed me to do and how they've taken care of me.''

Before coming to Ohio State, Matta was the head coach at his alma mater, Butler, for a year and for three seasons at Xavier. His career mark is 336-100.

Athletic director Gene Smith said he first approached Matta a year ago about updating his contract.

''Thad's done a marvelous job since he's been our coach,'' Smith said. ''Competitively we know he's been highly successful, with five Big Ten championships including three in a row, three (conference) tournament championships, six NCAA appearances, two Final Four appearances including a championship game appearance, and winning the NIT. He's just done a phenomenal job.''

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The contract requires Matta to report anyone who ''may potentially have violated'' NCAA rules. That clarified wording which had been troublesome in contracts in the wake of violations committed by football coach Jim Tressel. As a result of major violations committed by Tressel, Ohio State is currently on NCAA probation and received a bowl ban after the 2012 football season.

''All of our contracts for coaches including mine have been modified to represent this language as a result of everything that we learned through our NCAA compliance issues,'' Smith said. ''So we played it up. Every contract has been modified that way.''

Matta said he was fine with the responsibility inherent with the new wording.

''First and foremost, all the things that are in there are things I live by in terms of my responsibility to this university,'' he said. ''That's how I want to operate. I like having those in there.''

Smith said the new contract puts Matta among the top-10 paid head coaches in the country. Buckeyes football coach Urban Meyer makes more than $4.1 million per season, also considered to be among the top 10 contracts in the Football Bowl Subdivision.

Ohio State has eliminated complimentary cars for head coaches and the new contract stipulates Matta will receive a stipend of $1,200 a month for two cars. He will also get more hours on a private jet for recruiting purposes.

The board of trustees will consider the new contract, which was signed by both the university and Matta in mid-December 2012, at its meeting next week.

Tagged: Ohio State, Ohio

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