Nationals

Ohio State revises Thad Matta's contract

Ohio State revises Thad Matta's contract

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.''

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.

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Follow Rusty Miller on Twitter:http://www.twitter.com/rustymillerap

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3 things to watch as the Nationals try to even the series with Colorado

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3 things to watch as the Nationals try to even the series with Colorado

Here are three things to watch for as the Nationals try to even the series in Colorado: 

1. Brian Dozier's slow start to 2019 seems to be in the rearview mirror. The second baseman hit his third long-ball in four games Monday night inside Coors Field. 

2. How long will Anthony Rendon be held out of the lineup? The third baseman is nursing his left elbow after being hit by a Jose Urena pitch Saturday in Miami. 

3. One of the MLB's best closers remains unsigned 20+ games into the season. Craig Kimbrel could very well help solve an NL East division-wide problem

Coming Up:

Tuesday, 4/23: Nationals @ Rockies, 8:40 p.m. ET, Coors Field

Wednesday, 4/24: Nationals @ Rockies, 3:10 p.m. ET, Coors Field

Friday, 4/26: Padres @ Nationals, 7:05 p.m. ET, Nationals Park

Download the MyTeams app for even more Nationals content, and check out the latest episode of the Racing Presidents podcast below.

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A frustrating Game 6 loss, but Caps can't dwell on the negative

A frustrating Game 6 loss, but Caps can't dwell on the negative

RALEIGH — By the end of the night the frustration was evident. Three times the Capitals have played at PNC Arena during this Stanley Cup playoffs first-round series and three times they have left the ice stick-smashingly angry. 

Capitals coach Todd Reirden screamed at the officials. Alex Ovechkin earned a game misconduct after a mock wave following a late penalty call. By then the Carolina Hurricanes had already assured there would be one final game in this closer-than-expected series with a 5-2 win. Now both teams face elimination with Game 7 looming Wednesday at Capital One Arena. 

Washington’s anger was understandable. Alex Ovechkin apparently poked home the game-tying goal with 9:26 remaining. But while the Capitals celebrated, referee Kyle Rehman blew his whistle. In his view, Ovechkin had shoved Carolina goalie Petr Mrazek’s pads to force the puck into the net. 

The NHL Situation Room in Toronto upheld that call on the ice after the Capitals tied it. Just 1:24 later, ex-Capitals forward Justin Williams stuck a dagger in the heart of his old team with a deflected goal to give the Hurricanes a 4-2 lead.

"I don't think anyone expected it to be easy,” defenseman Brooks Orpik said. “They played well all series. We were up 2-0 and we were probably fortunate to be up 2-0 and we've been good on home ice and now we have a Game 7 and it is probably good that we have home ice."

There were other issues on Monday. Dmitry Orlov was whistled for embellishment in the second period that denied Washington a power play. Carolina tied the game 2-2 at 1:56 of the second period when referees – in the Capitals’ view – missed an obvious slash by Sebastian Aho on defenseman Jonas Siegenthaler behind the net. His attempted clear was flubbed and Aho found Teuvo Teravainen alone in front for an easy goal.

None of it matters now. The Capitals didn’t play well enough to win anyway, especially in a ragged second period that ominously looked like the 5-0 Hurricanes win in Game 3. Reirden himself admitted that Carolina earned the breaks it got. Goalie Braden Holtby was especially critical of his team for not building on a dominant 6-0 win at home in Game 5 on Saturday. 

“I don’t know. I thought we played pretty well to come out and we just faded,” Holtby said. “I’m not sure why. At this point it doesn’t matter. It’s over with and it’s down to one game.”

The challenge will be leaving all of that negativity in the PNC Arena locker room. One player walked away and said to no one in particular “No goal….what a call.” The sarcasm dripped. But it can’t follow the Capitals back home to Washington. This group of players has plenty of experience putting bad playoff losses behind them. 

If anything carries over into Game 7, however, they could be in trouble. Those days are thought to be long over after last spring’s Cup. And maybe they are. But the Capitals will have to forget about what happened in Raleigh. They have one last chance. It can't be clouded by what happened here.  

"It's over. Again, right now nothing you can do,” Ovechkin said. “After fight, you can't do anything. It was a good battle. Good for them, they win Game 6, and you know, Game 7 is going to be much interesting. We know how to play that. Pressure on both teams, but it's a good chance for us to beat them at home." 

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