Thad Matta, who will be named Ohio State's men's basketball coach today, apologized to Enquirer reporter Dustin Dow on Thursday, after indicating in local television interviews Wednesday night that his comments in the June 30 Enquirer ("I'm not a candidate") were taken out of context.
Matta told a WCPO-TV (Channel 9) reporter: "When I was asked that question, it was 8:45 at night and I was standing on the 'X' coaching 12-year-olds at our summer basketball camp. And a gentleman asked me, 'Are you a candidate for Ohio State?' I looked at him and I looked down and I said, 'No. I'm coaching 12-year-olds. I'm not a candidate. It's plain and simple, isn't it?' And so it gets a little bit taken out - but everybody has a job to do. And things can get twisted. And, you know, it's all part of this business."
Matta told Dow on Thursday: "That's where I thought the quotes came from. I apologize. I was confused."
Dow had interviewed Matta in his Cintas Center office the morning of June 29.
During that tape-recorded interview, Matta denied he had been contacted by Ohio State and told Dow: "I'm not a candidate. That plain and that simple. I don't know what else to tell you."
Said Matta Thursday: "During that time, in my mind, I wasn't a candidate."
The former Xavier coach had met with Ohio State athletic director Andy Geiger on June 28 at Lunken Airport, Geiger told The Enquirer on Thursday.
Dow did approach Matta at his camp to confirm what Matta had said earlier when asked if he were a candidate to replace Jim O'Brien at OSU.
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