Matt Roth "leaves" IU basketball team

Submitted by ypsituckyboy on August 27th, 2012 at 10:18 AM

Tom Crean basically just cut Matt Roth from the roster. Roth was a 5th year, but according to Roth, Crean never even gave him the common courtesy of sitting down with the kid and telling him "thanks for the 4 years but you won't get a fifth." Crean just said "keep your options open" and strung him along. Now Roth doesn't have a job lined up and isn't sure what he's gonna do.

Mind you, Crean already cut Ron Patterson after Crean realized IU would be oversigned if it took Patterson. Conveniently, Patterson "didn't meet IU grade standards" around the same time.

I'm really okay with letting guys go after 4. They get a free education and some good life connections. But it's just classless to completely ignore a guy who came to Indiana when things were bad. Crean just comes off as a jerk.




August 27th, 2012 at 10:23 AM ^

I used to think of Crean as self-aggrandizing and obnoxious but not Saban-esque.  This report changes that.  He's going to be insufferable this year with IU (presumably) doing really well...Also, the man obviously goes tanning.  In the words of GOB Bluth, come on!


August 27th, 2012 at 10:50 AM ^

Tom Crean during my time in Bloomington.  While I don't have any first-hand knowledge of the inns and outs of how he runs his program, he has always seemed like a stand-up guy to me.  It is disappointing to hear about how Matt Roth has been treated, but in all honesty, Roth should have seen it coming.

He earned not only a BA, but a Masters degree, spoke at senior night last year.  He played in all four years, however he recieved a medical redshirt for one year, which is the only reason he has eligibility left.  He didn't have to pay for school.  All along, it seems he has known that he wasn't going to be playing this year, just really wanted to. In addition, he has been giving the option of continuing to play for IU if he is willing to pay tuition, however as an Illinois resident, it would be costly to him.

These are just my feelings on this.  I believe Crean is getting a "SEC" reputation and does not deserve it.  Ron Patterson was told exactly what he needed to do this past summer in order to enroll at IU, and failed to meet the requirements.

I'm not sure whether Crean's success is leading to this general disdain towards him, or whether its how his face gets all "Brian Kelly'd even after his team upsets the #1 team in the nation.


August 27th, 2012 at 12:13 PM ^

The issue isn't the four years. Roth was given plenty, and isn't owed a fifth year. The issue is the lack of clear communication. If Crean told Roth, "I would love to have you back, but there simply won't be room if things go as planned" it would be fine. But to say, "keep your options open" seems to imply that he was working to get Roth back for the upcoming year.

None of us know the mind of Crean. but a firm handshake and clear communication of "good bye, it has been good having you the last four years, wish you well in the future," publicly and privately, would have given Roth more options. If Roth had started looking at the end of last year either for a transfer or an athletic administration position, he would be better situated. For Crean to hold out any hope for Roth to return seems duplicitous, and leaves Roth with much worse options. It would have been much easier for Roth to either find a place to play in college, or to find a team to play on in Europe, or to find a school with an athletic admin position, had Roth been looking in April and May.

piston honda

August 27th, 2012 at 12:33 PM ^

Matt was quoted as saying this a long time ago, and I've wondered a few times if this is one of those things that's said by one person who means it one way, and is taken by the listener another way.


I can imagine a scenario for myslef of one of my players in HS who's kind of on that "cut line" coming to me and asking, "Coach, do you think I'll be on the team this year?"


If my response was, "Keep your options open," to me, that would be like a nice way of telling him to join wrestling or swim. A more clear cut answer probably would've been better, because I can imagine the kid hearing it and thinking I'm telling him to work harder or something.


You are right though, if Crean just made a call right away, Matt wouldn't have had any confusion and had more options. My guess is that Crean was waiting to see if Maurice Creek was going to be healthy enough to play again before telling Matt no thanks.

piston honda

August 27th, 2012 at 11:09 AM ^

As a first time poster, a disclaimer about my fandom. Born in Ft. Wayne, raised in Novi. Always loved IU basketball from birth, and as a kid, the company my dad runs in Farmington had season tix to Michigan football, so I became a die-hard U of M football fan in the era of Harbaugh and have loved them since.


Regarding Roth, the recent stories make this look much more unfortunate for Matt than it is. He says he hasn't been in contact with Crean recently, but earlier articles on the situation all IU fans saw coming quote Matt as saying he and Crean talked about this possibility from the beginning of his 3rd (redshirt soph) year. If there were a spot available, Matt would've gotten a 5th year. It stinks, and I wish there were, but he's gotten 4 years, a degree and a Masters. I feel bad for the kid, but it's not like he didn't get a ton of good out of the scholarship. If the conference didn't support/allow oversigning, this obviously would've been avoided. But Matt wasn't blindsided by this. And Crean isn't ignoring him. They were at the same charity event in Ft Wayne this weekend. And Crean talked about Matt to the crowd.


About Patterson: I don't know how you can fault Crean over a kid he fought tooth and nail to even get into the school being declared ineligible by a School Committee? Ron was a risk academically coming out of Broad Ripple, an IPS school the state had to take over this year. The, Crean got him admitted under the auspices that he would work with a program that gives these types of cases a personal couselor to help them raise and amintain their grades, a program that has been around since the 60's. Ron did very poorly in his 2 summer classes, and he was caught cheating in one of them, a confirmed fact. All this led the school board, not IU to dismiss him. I know Crean was not happy with this. Ron wouldn't have played a major role this year, but he has a bright future. Jeff Rabjohns, the rivals IU writer, had also confirmed that had Ron stayed, a current player (prob Zeller bc his fam and bro have $) had volunteered to pay his way as a walk on to solve the scholarship crunch. I have a bit of insight into all of this independently too as a HS coach and former AAU coach (Eric Gordon All Stars) in Indianapolis.


August 27th, 2012 at 11:14 AM ^

As an IU alum, I've been uneasy about Crean's tendency towards oversigning. Further, the ESPN article paints a poor picture of how Crean handled the Matt Roth situation. While Matt certainly got plenty out of Indiana University and he certainly wasn't owed another year (he's completed a bachelor's and a masters degree under scholarship), I'm a firm believer in giving lots of notice; that doesn't appear to have happened here. However, this post missteps by linking Ron Patterson's departure to this latest situation with Matt Roth.

Ron Patterson's basketball abilities made him a lot of fans in Bloomington. He would almost surely have contributed as a freshman and down the road, and I am pretty sure the coaching staff wasn't happy when Patterson didn't do well enough in summer courses at IU to warrant admission. As I understand it that was an academic, not athletic department, decision: Patterson was admitted provisionally and failed to do what he needed to do in the classroom.



Wettin 3's

August 27th, 2012 at 11:38 AM ^

Once you join the Harbaugh family....always a Harbaugh. Jokes aside, I strongly despise this guy...always have, and always will. He is the biggest character on the sideline, doesn't know when to shutup, no composure what so ever. Now with this new statement, I almost hate him... 


August 27th, 2012 at 1:12 PM ^

The fact that this is news to Roth would be stunning to me. I go to IU and it was common knowledge he didn't have a spot since last yr ended. He spoke at senior night with all the seniors. If Crean was going to keep him im sure that they wouldn't of had him do that.

It does look bad for Crean thought. Roth does have a great degree and will have no problem finding a job and being successful.