Michigan basketball coach John Beilein clears up difference between 'Ohio' and 'Ohio U'
John Beilein was creating a bit of confusion Sunday when discussing the Michigan basketball team's upcoming NCAA Tournament matchup, while also touching on the Wolverines' Big Ten Tournament-ending loss a day earlier.
Two schools, in the same state, with the same name? Not so much.
During an interview Monday on 97.1 The Ticket, Beilein cleared up the naming conundrum.
"There's Ohio University and then there's just Ohio," Beilein said. "And Ohio University is who we're playing on Friday."
Earlier in the season, Beilein adopted Michigan football coach Brady Hoke's model of referring to Ohio State as simply "Ohio."
So, naturally, when fourth-seeded Michigan drew the 13th-seeded Bobcats for a second-round matchup in Nashville, Tenn. (7:20 p.m. Friday, TNT), Beilein had some explaining to do.
"I think people understand who I'm talking about, and I'll try to be very clear about it," Beilein said on the air. "But we're playing Ohio University, a tremendous university in Athens, Ohio."
Earlier this season, Ohio coach John Groce -- a former Ohio State assistant -- wasn't exactly thrilled with Hoke and Beilein's decision to refer to both the schools in Columbus and Athens by the same name, calling it "disrespectful."
“It is kind of disrespectful, but it is what it is,” Groce told the Ohio University Post. “You can’t control what other people say. You can only control what you’re doing on a daily basis.
"That’s how we operate here, and I can assure you that’s how Coach (Thad) Matta operates in Columbus.”
Asked on Sunday whether he was concerned about his comments being taken in a poor manner by the Bobcat program, Beilein said "no, I don't worry about that."
On Sunday, Groce addressed the situation as well, with the Athens Messenger.
“My deal is that’s a spat between Ohio State and Michigan,” he said. “The thing that gets lost in the deal is we’re Ohio University. We’re Ohio. We liked to be referred to as Ohio. That’s who we are.
“I don’t think it’s anything (disrespectful) to us. It is what it is. (But) you can’t control it, so I don’t get caught up in all that.”
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