Barring an epic Big Ten tournament run, Ohio State is going to miss the NCAA Tournament for a second consecutive season. Buckeyes coach Thad Matta has gone through a bit of a rough patch at the helm, and rumors about his health have lingered for years, with his back issues causing some to think he might step away after a less than stellar season in Columbus.

Those are just rumors, it turns out. Yahoo Sports reported this week that Matta will be back next season despite health issues.

But speculation about his health have apparently opened doors for other teams in recruiting, and according to Matta, one unnamed team took things a little too far.

“Somebody told a recruit I was dying,” Matta said Tuesday. “Swear to god. Not that my foot didn’t lift, but that I was going to die. It’s a tough business I’m in here.”

That’s a new level of negative recruiting. Apparently, Matta said, the recruit’s father told him about that pitch from an opposing school because the player was going to hold a press conference which they chose to delay because of Matta’s health.

Matta insisted Tuesday that he’s feeling good, and that a negative recruiting pitch from other schools about his health has been used against him “for the last eight years.”

The Buckeyes (17-14) are an 11-seed in the Big Ten tournament, and play No. 14 seed Rutgers in the first round on Wednesday.