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Posted on Mon, Mar 12, 2012 : 12:26 p.m.

Michigan basketball coach John Beilein clears up difference between 'Ohio' and 'Ohio U'

By Nick Baumgardner

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.”

Nick Baumgardner covers Michigan basketball for He can be reached at 734-623-2514, by email at and followed on Twitter @nickbaumgardner.

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Tom Edwards

Tue, Mar 13, 2012 : 9:22 p.m.

Actually, what Coach Beilein said above is incorrect. Ohio University, in Athens, Ohio, is known, as a college -- and on the air and cable in athletic events, as Ohio. The school in Columbus is Ohio State. Those of you in Ann Arbor and East Lansing will certainly appreciate the distinction. Several years ago there was a court case in which Ohio State tried to copyright the name "Ohio" to protect their athletic gear sales which are substantial. The suit was finally settled out of court and most would say that Ohio (University) won that battle. I heard that the folks at THE were also worried that OU would object to "Ohio Stadium" in Columbus. We don't. I won't bother commenting about "THE" except to say, why? Just a little more background on Ohio University. It was chartered by Congress in the Ordinance of 1787 and founded in 1804 as the first university in the Northwest Territory. That's roughly 70 years prior to Ohio State. Athens is a wonderful college town in the rolling foothills of the Apallachian Mountains -- about 75 miles Southeast of Columbus. There are about 20,000 students on the Athens Campus, and more in several regional campuses. Not a large, but not a small school either. Oh yes, and we were also named the number one party school in 2012 by The Princeton Review. That's up from number two last year. I don't know if that's deserved, be we sure had a good time when I went there years ago. I've been in TV production and directing, including live sports for local stations, regional and national networks (NBC), for about 45 years since graduating from Ohio (remember which one that is), including five years at (then CBS affiliate) WJBK-TV in Detroit. One of our live event producers in the office next to mine is also an Ohio grad. I'll be working in the studio on Friday night, but hope for a great game -- and a Bobcat victory I hope that this

Tom Edwards

Wed, Mar 14, 2012 : 1:40 a.m.

Thanks OUGal. I'm pretty active in the alumni association and the WOUB alumni group and had seen this. It's well deserved. Even before the Scripps College of Communication was formed, both the J-School and the Radio-TV program were considered among the best. A lot of us who have been in our industries mentor and work with the present undergrads. They're outstanding.


Tue, Mar 13, 2012 : 9:52 p.m.

Bobcats are proud and I feel thats why we need Ohio State to be Ohio State and us to be OHIO. We need our distinction. Another list we recently made, given you're profession I feel you'd appreciate this <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>.

wi wolverine fan

Tue, Mar 13, 2012 : 7:08 a.m.

All I know is that maize and blue are a hell of a lot better colors than white and green and scarlet and silver


Tue, Mar 13, 2012 : 1:31 a.m.

I think &quot;Beat Ohio&quot; covers it. It's an umbrella term, it's short, it's complete. Beat Ohio.

Rachael Larimore

Mon, Mar 12, 2012 : 9:26 p.m.

By this logic, we Ohioans should be referring to Sparty as &quot;Michigan,&quot; and to the Wolverines as &quot;the University of Michigan&quot;? I guess you probably don't mind being confused with Sparty, right?


Tue, Mar 13, 2012 : 12:43 a.m.

MSU doesn't have their band spell out &quot;Michigan&quot; at halftime nor do they chant &quot;Michigan&quot; during games, do they?


Mon, Mar 12, 2012 : 9:21 p.m.

and then there's Michigan State and that team up north in Michigan...I'm glad we got that straight..


Mon, Mar 12, 2012 : 9:12 p.m.

The difference between the two schools is this.... Ohio University is a classy university that does not resort to cheating in order to win at athletics. Their fans are respectful during games and for the most part are well educated. The other Ohio is the exact opposite and can be identified by their fans dressed in red and grey parachute pants, face paint and wigs purchased out of a clown catalog, wearing buckeye's nuts around their necks, and screaming obscenities around young children.


Tue, Mar 13, 2012 : 8:39 a.m.

Pot, Meet Kettle. UofM os on probation for CHEATING right now in football. (Over practicing) It had the banners taken down out of its Basketball arena. (Pay for Play) A couple TOSU players trade their own stuff for different stuff and you think that is worse?


Mon, Mar 12, 2012 : 6:18 p.m.

It'll be confusing, you won't be able to tell which fans are which since both Ohio and Michigan are green and white.


Tue, Mar 13, 2012 : 8:33 a.m.

@Trevor, Best posting in a long time. @OhioWolverine, Seriously? You dont get that?


Mon, Mar 12, 2012 : 6:46 p.m.

I think you missed the joke ohiowolverine!


Mon, Mar 12, 2012 : 6:28 p.m.

Trevor, you've got the wrong Michigan. MSU is green and white, The Wolverines are Maize and Blue.


Mon, Mar 12, 2012 : 6:07 p.m.

Living so close to Scumbus, Ohio, Ijust call them the Suckeyes. GO BLUE!


Mon, Mar 12, 2012 : 5:49 p.m.

OK so to be clear according to Beilein it should be called University of Michigan and not just Michigan?


Mon, Mar 12, 2012 : 5:35 p.m.

this whole OHIO thing is old and tired. It's not clever and never was. It just makes you look childish for having to resort to name calling. I don't even think it offends anybody either, as I assume this is the intention of the &quot;dig&quot; at ohio state.


Mon, Mar 12, 2012 : 7:33 p.m.

It doesn't offend me. I'm just sick of articles being written about it and everyone talking about it. Ever hear of &quot;beating a dead horse&quot; ??


Mon, Mar 12, 2012 : 7:02 p.m.

It doesn't offend you, yet you feel the need to post about it on an Ann Arbor news site saying it is old, tired, and childish.


Mon, Mar 12, 2012 : 5:28 p.m.

Hey beeline, I can clear it up for you OSU is the one that embarassed you in the B10 tournament. OU will be the one to embarass you in the ncaa tournament. Got it? By the way , Don't let Trey go to his right, he'll score 5 points. Don't guard Hardaway at the three pt line. He'll throw bricks all night. Follow this Groce and you are golden.


Mon, Mar 12, 2012 : 7:04 p.m.

That worked well for them when &quot;Ohio&quot; played Michigan in Ann Arbor.


Mon, Mar 12, 2012 : 5:24 p.m.

I don't care which school it is. Beat Ohio.


Mon, Mar 12, 2012 : 9:05 p.m.

Trevor--have fun at the #1 party school in the country. Good to have you around these parts.


Mon, Mar 12, 2012 : 7:15 p.m.

Hahaha, even though I'm rooting for Ohio (I'm a student) I like how you think.


Mon, Mar 12, 2012 : 5:13 p.m.

This article fails to point out that the reason the coaches and fans call OSU &quot;Ohio&quot; is because of the way they reference themselves as THE Ohio State University.


Tue, Mar 13, 2012 : 8:03 p.m.

Yes &quot;THE&quot; is very annoying to those in Ohio as well, but Michigan needs to find a better way to make fun of the Buckeyes. Ohio University is Ohio and having a school we're often confused with being called Ohio as well is annoying and insulting. OU is better than OSU. I expect a higher caliber insult for Ohio State from Michigan than that. I mean seriously not even acknowledging the &quot;THE&quot; pisses them off enough. Calling them Ohio a much cooler school farther down in the state is an upgrade for them.