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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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Bradley Beal's dominance left Cavaliers fans wondering what could have been

Bradley Beal's dominance left Cavaliers fans wondering what could have been

The Wizards may be 15-29, on pace for fewer wins than last year and sport the worst defense in the league by a wide margin, but Wizards fans can find solace in one simple fact. 

They aren't the Cleveland Cavaliers. 

Coming off a heartbreaking loss to the Heat one night before, the Wizards waltzed to their easiest win of the season. Bradley Beal was unguardable, Davis Bertans caught fire from three and Cleveland's top-five pick, Darius Garland had another rough shooting night. 

Suffice to say, Cavs fans weren't feeling great after the game last night. Here are some reactions we felt Wizards fans would want to see. 

Sad fans wanting to jump ship

"Absolutely disgraceful performance. In all my years as a fan of this team, I’ve never seen a group of players so lazy and pathetic. I’m taking my fan-hood to San Antonio where it looks like they know how to run a basketball team," said @FreakySportz

"Why do I continue to watch this team smh," wrote @cmcgoingal98

"PLAYERS DON'T CARE!! THIS GARBAGE IS UNREAL!!" @El_Matador92 screamed through his keyboard

"This is a wasted season... They need to trade [Kevin] Love now. He isn't a difference-maker," said @chanowski_j

What could have been with Bradley Beal

Beal had 36 points and eight assists on 15-22 shooting against the Cavs Thursday night. Nobody on Cleveland's roster could contain him, and after the game, it had Cavs fans wondering what could have been if Beal fell past the Wizards in the 2012 NBA Draft.

"We missed him by one spot in the draft," wrote @Hockey_Wolf

 

"I love Bradley Beal's game," said @The Real_DiO

"Beal 15-22 from the floor. You have to go into the game knowing he's the primary scorer. How many wide-open looks did he get?" wrote @CLESportPrspctv

"Not much you can do when a team is that committed to getting their star open shots. And Beal is great when free to shoot or drive... Wizards just were committed and determined to get him free," said @KirkLOB

Love brings Beal back to life

The best moment of the night came after Beal took a charge in the second half and laid flat on his back once he got hit. Then Love came over and did his best to revive the star shooting guard. 

Naturally, the jokes were flying at the Cavs' expense. 

"Love is so ready to be traded lol," wrote @ife_any

"Someone needs to revive Kevin Love's career," said @JRaviloi

"Should've left him for dead. Did you see what he did to us last night?" wrote @Belasic_Mark

"Highlight of the night," said @MomOnWarpath

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William & Mary will retire Marcus Thornton's No. 3 jersey on Feb. 15

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William & Mary will retire Marcus Thornton's No. 3 jersey on Feb. 15

Former William & Mary guard Marcus Thornton will have his Tribe legacy officially honored on Feb. 15, when the program will hold a ceremony to raise to the rafters and retire his No. 3 jersey the school announced Friday.

The ceremony for the program’s all-time leading scorer and 2014-15 Associated Press Honorable Mention All-American will be held at halftime of William & Mary’s game against Delaware at Kaplan Arena.

“Feb. 15 is going to be a memorable day at Kaplan Arena as we honor Marcus by adding his No. 3 to its rightful place in W&M lore,” Athletic Director Samantha Huge said. “We look forward to Tribe fans joining us as we honor a Tribe basketball icon.”

Thornton’s No. 3 jersey will be the sixth in the rafters at Kaplan Arena, joining Keith Cieplicki’s No. 14, Bill Chambers’ No. 32, Chet Giermak’s No. 32, John Lowenhaupt’s No. 42 and Jeff Cohen’s No. 52.

During his four-year career with the Tribe spanning from 2011-2015, Thornton broke several program records. He leads William & Mary’s program in scoring (2,178 points), made 3-pointers (325), games played (127), minutes played (4,328), minutes per game (34.1) and made threes per game (2.55).

Thornton was named the Colonial Athletic Association Player of the Year during his senior season, when he averaged 20 points per game. He was the first Tribe player to garner that honor in program history.

After that year, the Boston Celtics selected Thornton in the second round of the NBA Draft with the 45th pick.

Since being drafted, Thornton has spent time on summer league teams for the Celtics and Oklahoma City Thunder, and played in the NBA G-League. His career has included international stops in Australia, Italy, China, Turkey and South Korea. He currently plays professionally in the France Jeep Elite A League with Elan Chalon.

“I’m excited and looking forward to returning to William & Mary to celebrate this great moment with those who have helped along the way — family, friends and, of course, the Tribe family,” Thornton said in the press release.