Andrew Holleran / Photo editor
Thad Matta will likely be receiving a raise, but he will have some added responsibilities when it comes to compliance.
Director of athletics Gene Smith announced Monday that the Ohio State basketball coach’s salary will increase to $3.2 million per year from about $2.9 million per year, pending a Board of Trustees vote.
Not taking into account other pay and bonuses, the increase makes Matta the sixth highest paid coach in college basketball, according to 2011-12 salary data compiled by USA Today.
Smith said he initiated the pay raise in January 2012 to keep Matta’s compensation “consistently in the top 10 in the country.”
“The Ohio State University should have a program that is consistently chasing championships, and as you all know, over the years we’ve had peaks and valleys,” Smith said of the program’s history. “Frankly (Matta has) attained (that goal) to some great degree. We’re one of the premier programs in the country in basketball.”
Matta, in his ninth year at OSU, has compiled a 234-69 record, has led the Buckeyes to two Final Fours and won five Big Ten titles.
For every conference title Matta wins, an extra year is added to his contract and despite his raise, his contract still expires in July 2019.
Matta said he is happy with the extra money but is more excited because of how it reflects the state of his program.
“From where we started, we were at ground zero nine years ago in terms of the uncertainty of our program,” Matta said. “You look at what we’ve been able to accomplish, for me personally, I am a lot more proud of that than I am of a contract.”
The raise was for more than just his performance though, Smith said. In light of OSU streamlining its compliance department to include all facets of the university, including athletics, into one office, Matta has “more stringent” requirements in that area.
“We modified a lot of the language relative to compliance,” Smith said. “We changed a number of clauses as it relates to creating an atmosphere of compliance and reporting any knowledge of any improprieties from a compliance point of view.”
According to a university release, Matta must report any NCAA violations or potential violations he is aware of and “promote an atmosphere of compliance within the basketball program consistent with NCAA bylaws.”
Matta said the added responsibilities are not concerning.
“All the things in there are the things that I live by,” he said.
As part of the new compliance system. OSU eliminated its car program. Matta’s new contract gives him a stipend for the use of two cars.
Other changes include an increase from 15 flight hours on a private jet to 20, which Matta can use for recruiting visits, and a revised academic bonus based on his team’s GPA in the classroom.
The players Matta has recruited to OSU might be the group happiest with their head coach’s raise.
“I think it’s huge,” said junior guard Aaron Craft. “He’s the definition of a player’s coach. He gives us a lot of freedom that, I’ve kind of talked to some other people, that other guys don’t really have. It’s great to know that he’ll be around.”
OSU, 13-4 this season, is set to take on Iowa Tuesday night.