Roth moving on

Though Matt Roth was at Assembly Hall on Saturday for Tom Crean’s basketball camp, the two did not discuss the possibility of Roth returning for a fifth season. At this point, though, Roth doesn’t need such a conversation to process the obvious.

Indiana started classes last week and without him in the picture, the Hoosiers have 13 players on scholarship, which is exactly the NCAA limit. Roth, who already has a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree, isn’t enrolled for the fall semester, and has accepted the fact that his college basketball career is over.

“School has started, and they’ve got their guys that are there on scholarship,” Roth said. “They’ve got the right number of guys. I’m not enrolled and I’m not on scholarship. I never told them I was ready to move on, but I gotta look out for my best interest now. There’s no sense in hoping. I don’t know if it’s even possible now.”

Roth said he and Crean spoke briefly at camp, but he didn’t want to pull Crean away from coaching the young players at the camp. Roth said even though Crean didn’t directly address his status, he did tell Roth to use him as a reference for any job applications. He said he appreciated that, but it also allowed him to read between the lines.

“You kind of put one and one together there,” Roth said.

Roth had a fifth year of eligibility because he broke his foot two games in to his sophomore season and didn’t return the rest of the year. That made him eligible for a medical redshirt. It was widely presumed that he would not get the opportunity for a fifth year because Indiana was oversigned by one for the 2012-13 season even without him in the fold. He took part in Senior Day festivities at Indiana’s last home game, but after a brilliant senior season off the bench in which he shot a Big Ten best 54.5 percent from beyond the 3-point arc and helped the Hoosiers to the Sweet 16, Crean told him to keep his options heading into his fifth year. By NCAA rule, Roth would have been given the opportunity to transfer to another Division I school without penalty for his fifth year because he had already graduated. However, Roth opted not to do that and hoped that a scholarship would open up for him to return to Indiana.

Incoming freshman guard Ron Patterson lost his faculty sponsorship because of a difficult summer session academically and was not admitted, but no other scholarship opened up, which left Roth on the outside looking in. His next move, he said, is to try to find a job. That will be difficult because he wants to work in athletic administration and there are few jobs to be found with the school year and college football season beginning.

“It’s going to be tough to find something,” he said. “But I’m being optimistic. I might have to take a job that isn’t in my field and make it work for a couple of years, or maybe I find something that I’ve never thought about that hits home as something I’d want to do.”

Despite the bind it could put him in, Roth said he didn’t regret waiting out the summer to see if he could return.

“I knew I wasn’t ready to be completely done,” he said. “But at the end of the day, I gave it everything I had for four years here. And at the end of the day, that’s what people are going to remember.”



  1. Matt is a class kid with an awesome stroke! Wishing him nothing but the best. He was one of the guys who was instrimental in helping put Indiana basketball back on the map, and for that I say thank you, Matt!

  2. Matt is a class act and handles himself very well in interviews. Deep down he has to be hurting, especially since he stuck with us and never wavered in his commitment. Too bad our coach didn’t stick by him. I’d tell coach to shove his reference where the sun doesn’t shine. Matt should at minimum have a job at IU somewhere and Crean could influence that if he really wanted to.

  3. Sad, but he did make the most of his time. Like the IU job idea, but at this point he may not be interested.

    Dustin, nice article in the paper today.

  4. Good luck, Matt. I was never more confident in someone making a key 3-pointer for the Hoosiers since Kyle Hornsby roamed Assembly Hall back in the early 2000s. It is time for you to put those two awesome degrees from IU to good work.

  5. I don’t think Matt should have held out hope. He went through senior night and that should have ended a great career on a positive note. I think he was thinking with his heart and not his head. Love the guy but I don’t think he should have played the sad little puppy act. Crean can’t keep everyone nor give every dedicated kid a job.

  6. Matt is a class kid. Im starting to worry about the character of Crean. He screws over Patterson and Roth in the same year because of his own mistake to over sign. I love IU, but Crean is losing me a little bit.

  7. I am a long-time Hoosier, but live in Seattle now since 2005. U. of Wash. could use a shooter, but I don’t know if they have any scholarships left. They start school well after Labor Day, don’t know exactly when. Roth would be a great addition. I go to lots of UW games.

  8. Really not a cool way to treat a kid who has given everything to this program. What is Coach thinking with this? I don’t understand how a kid gives 4+ years of his life to a program and then gets basically shown the door with not so much as a thanks on the way out. What is this? Why are we doing this to our kids? Shameful.

  9. Dustin- Am I to understand that Tom Crean has not yet approached the subject of the availability or no availability of a scholarship with Matt Roth? Based on your story, is the last word given to ROth ‘to hold his options open? Just to be sure, I’d ;ike this clarification. Thank you.

  10. @WSJ. What in the world are you talking about? “Screwing Roth and Patterson over”? If you would just look at the facts, Patterson did not make grades and Roth did not enroll in school, you would see that there is nothing going on here.

  11. @Sam Fortune. Could you be more of a drama queen? “Shown the door without a thanks.” Give us a break. Did you watch senior night last year? My guess is no based on your over-the-top post.

  12. It’s bad enough that Crean is runnning Roth off, but to not even communicate this with him? That makes it 10X worse.

  13. Poor kid. Only got one undergraduate and one graduate degree. With his connections he’ll probably be lucky to pull down $100,000 a year. Maybe we can put up jars at convenience stores for him.

    I feel so dirty.

  14. Tsao,
    Based on what Roth said as of the time this post was written, yes. Roth told me the discussions had progressed no further than that and he hadn’t heard anything specific, but he obviously saw the writing on the wall. Plus, Crean did say something about Roth using him as a reference. Now, they were apparently both at some sort of function at Fort Wayne Sunday evening, so I can’t say if they spoke after I talked to him, but I talked to Matt about 20-30 minutes before this post went up and that was what he said.

  15. Thanks Dustin. I believe that the Patterson issue is the responsibility of young Mr. Patterson. I wish him a good future. He was given every legitimate chance to qualify for admission at IU but something did not click. In no way can we hold Tom Crean responsible for that. The Faculty committee, based on A.D. Glass’ report, acted as it must- independently.

    I also believe the math and that points to someone falling by the wayside scholarship-wise. There were fourteen players eligible for thirteen scholarships.

    It seems to me that if there was no way out of the dilemma, it was up to Tom Crean to be as up-front as possible with Matt Roth about his situation. As described here and before, that did not happen (if Matt description of the relationship and conversations with Crean as conveyed to Dustin are accurate). If nothing else, in my opinion, Matt earned the right through his loyalty, sacrifice and performance for a stand-up and timely answer from his coach and mentor.

    I really do hope that Crean sees fit to comment on this situation, openly. I would be interested on how he sees it in the context of his values and beliefs.

  16. Btw..Lorenzo Romar and Washington have 3 open rides..they had a highly touted JUCO Guard leave unexpectedly-McLaughlin or something. But I think Matt wanted to play only for IU.Very disappointing-I emailed Coach Crean’s office just to ask if they had poss. a Graduate Assistant’s spot for him somewhere inside of the Athletic dept. and Imploring him as a Fan to PLEASE at least call Matt and talk with him. I linked his TV interview to the email.

    Dosent sound like he did-and that’s disappointing.Matt will find something Good ahead-i’m smart and talented as he is.He might want to think ab.going overseas and making some $ shooting 3’s in a top league somewhere. Crean-if he didnt even give Matt a call this summmer on this, I dont think he handled it very well and would tell him that to his face,honestly and respectfully. And that’s,on him.

    He’s a man of Faith-so am I.And all due respect, but I dont think that’s wwjd. Roth’s given his ALL to IU-at least give him the respect of a meeting-or lol at least a phone call. Best wishes to Matt-a Great Indiana Hoosier. Aloha Friends!#TakeCareofYourPlayersCoach.

  17. After enjoying his Senior night MR was told to leave his options open for the up coming season because situations unknown then could happen later. He did and they did. Sound advise by Coach Crean. I have no formal degree and figured out how this could end for Matt. He has 2 and I am sure he figured it out before me. Craig has stated Romar has rides available. What a great gig for a 5th year shooter. “Go NW young man go NW”.

  18. I have to say, I’m really surprised at the lack of communication on the part of Crean. I would think, in general, he talks to his players more often – even his former players. Certainly someone that he told to keep his options open. Kind of disappointed in hearing this about our coach. And he says he can use him as a reference? Shouldn’t that be something that doesn’t need to be said?

  19. I can hardly blame MR for hanging on as long as possible for the chance to play on a national championship contender. But it just didn’t work out. There seems to be no animosity on the part of MR toward IU or Crean, and I see no reason to stir any thing up on that front. IMHO MR will profit greatly from his years at IU and relationship with Crean. The “rest of the story” is still to be written.

  20. Dustin…was it an option for Roth to walk-on? I know that’s a pride thing (in addition to $) with college athletes, and I understand that, but I’m surprised he didn’t want to do that if it were an option. What is the minimum graduate credit hours an athlete must take in order to be full-time/NCAA eligible? 6-8? So like $5000 for the year or less? I know that’s a decent amount of coin, but given the situation, I’m surprised he didn’t just do that. Hate to see him go, but also understand that’s the nature of the beast in big-time college sports.

  21. Had also heard a rumor (so it could be completely false) that Cincinnati (and likely others) was interested in Roth, but he wanted to be a Hoosier for life and held out. Thus, making me wonder even more about the walk-on possibility.

  22. I hope this situation never happens again but I beleive it will. Two things that stand out are, 1) Coach Crean seems to have avoided the issue until it disappeared. I think he owed it to Roth to come out and just say there is no spot for him. I have yet to see anything to indicate that happened. As the head coach, that’s on you Coach Crean to not leave the kid hanging. 2) It does not seem like Roth ever flat out asked about a spot. This also seems odd. It really sounds more like he was not going to ask and just hoping it worked out. Plus, he was no willing to walk on and pay to continue playing and go on for another degree. His choice. Either way, this was not the best way it could be handled and both sides need to do better. IU fans expect more.

  23. Roth is a class act…he handled it as gracefully as anyone could. Crean, on the other hand is a complete fraud- he talks about doing things the right way in pep rallies and on Twitter, but when he had the chance to merely talk to a kid who literally bled for him and the pro