Big Ten

Thad Matta done after 13 seasons as Ohio State head basketball coach

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USA TODAY

Thad Matta done after 13 seasons as Ohio State head basketball coach

The illustrious Thad Matta Era at Ohio State is over.

The school announced Monday afternoon that Matta, who spent 13 seasons leading the basketball program, is no longer the head coach, effectively immediately. Athletics director Gene Smith said a national search will start immediately, as well.

Matta and Smith reflected on Matta's longtime health issues and the effects those have had on the success of the program, specifically in recruiting. Matta's situation got worse when lifelong back issues were joined by a permanent foot disability after a botched 2007 surgery. The two said Monday that they talked about what was best for the program and agreed it was time for Matta to step away.

Matta is the program's all-time winningest coach, and he took the Buckeyes to a national championship game and a pair of Final Fours. But the last few years of his tenure have not gone nearly as well.

A pair of first-weekend exits from the NCAA tournament were followed by back-to-back seasons without invitations to the Big Dance. Recruiting successes haven't been as prevalent, either, and this past season, the Buckeyes failed to win 20 games for the first time since Matta arrived in Columbus. This offseason, Ohio State missed out on some transfers and recruits, which Smith said played a part in this decision.

Matta's health issues obviously had a detrimental effect on the success of his program, so much so that when asked if he would still be the coach were he 100-percent healthy, Matta responded that he thinks he probably would be.

While the end is not what anyone wanted it to be, Matta's tenure was undoubtedly a remarkable success.

He led the Buckeyes to nine NCAA tournament appearances, including a trip to the national championship game, a pair of Final Fours, three Elite Eights and five Sweet Sixteens. Matta-coached teams won a combined nine Big Ten championships, with three of his squads capturing regular-season and conference-tournament titles in the same season.

Matta sent had 10 of his Ohio State players selected in the NBA Draft, including eight first-round picks: Greg Oden, Mike Conley, Daequan Cook, Kosta Koufos, Byron Mullens, Evan Turner, Jared Sullinger and D'Angelo Russell.

Matta finished his run at Ohio State with a 337-123 record at the school, the program's all-time leader in wins, with a 150-78 mark in Big Ten play.

https://twitter.com/ESPNStatsInfo/status/871800852910137344

The Buckeyes' search will start right away, and Matta will have a role, according to Smith, in picking his successor.

Big Ten to play conference-only NCAA football schedule 'if able'

Big Ten to play conference-only NCAA football schedule 'if able'

The Big Ten announced on Thursday that they will not play any non-conference games this fall, if they’re able to play at all.

The move comes after the Ivy League cancelled all fall sports earlier in the week.

In the statement the Big Ten said, “By limiting competition to other Big Ten institutions, the Conference will have the greatest flexibility to adjust its own operations throughout the season and make quick decisions in real-time based on the most current evolving medical advice and the fluid nature of the pandemic.

“In addition, the Conference announced that summer athletic activities will continue to be voluntary in all sports currently permitted to engage in such activities. Furthermore, Big Ten student-athletes who choose not to participate in intercollegiate athletics at any time during the summer and/or the 2020-21 academic year due to concerns about COVID-19 will continue to have their scholarship honored by their institution and will remain in good standing with their team.”

The Big Ten also said they’re prepared to cancel their fall sports entirely, if needed to ensure the health and safety of student-athletes.

This all leads to more questions as to how the Big Ten schedule will ultimately take shape. For instance, the first three games on the University of Illinois’s schedule are all non-conference games. Will more in-conference games be scheduled to replace them, or will the Fighting Illini simply begin their season on Oct. 3 with their first conference game against Rutgers?

All of that remains to be seen, as the conference said more details regarding the conference-only schedule will be released later.


RELATED: Northwestern football will not host Wisconsin Badgers at Wrigley Field

Northwestern football will not host Wisconsin Badgers at Wrigley Field

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USA Today

Northwestern football will not host Wisconsin Badgers at Wrigley Field

Northwestern football will no longer host their game against the Wisconsin Badgers at Wrigley Field. The university announced the decision on Wednesday.

The Wildcats were supposed to play the Badgers at the Friendly Confines on Nov. 7. Although the university didn’t officially announce it, team's website says the game will be played at Ryan Field.

“This is a disappointing conclusion to reach, but absolutely the right one in our current environment,” said Jim Phillips, Northwestern’s Combe Family Vice President for Athletics and Recreation. “The uncertainty of football and baseball schedules, and the possibility of limited attendance, made this an easy choice to make for our student-athletes and fans.

“We’re grateful for our outstanding partners from the Cubs, and look forward to bringing the passion and pageantry of college football gameday to the city’s north side when we can do so safely and securely with a packed house.”

Northwestern initially brought college football back to Wrigley in 2010. Previously the last college football game at Wrigley was played in 1938. Since then, Northwestern has hosted both lacrosse and baseball games at Clark and Addison.

The university is still on track to kick off their season on Sept. 5 at Michigan State.

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