NBA: OSU’s Titus making “mockery” of draft

Brian Deutsch

 

Ohio State guard Mark Titus was basically told to scram by the NBA when he announced his intention to forego his senior year with the Buckeyes and enter this year’s draft.
 
There’s a catch.
 
Titus, a one-time student manager for the Buckeyes, has been a bench player his entire career. He announced his decision on his blog, Club Trillion, only to have the NBA call it a “mockery” of the draft process . The NBA might have a point. In two games this season, Titus’ only contribution was one defensive rebound.
 
To clear up any confusion as to whether he was serious or just playing an incredibly late April fool’s joke, Titus posted the following today:
 
I’m coming back to school for my senior year of college, basketball, and college basketball. There, I said it. I wanted to be upfront about it so the suspense doesn’t drag on. While you now might not see a reason as to why you should keep reading, consider that my withdrawing my name from the draft has a nice little story to it. And by nice, I mean completely uncool.
A lot of speculation has been going around about what exactly the intentions were behind my decision to enter my name into the draft. Some called it a publicity stunt. Others called it…yeah, pretty much everyone called it a publicity stunt. And to a certain (very large) extent it was. But behind the veil of the “look at me” charade, there was a nugget of sincerity that maybe (just maybe) my ability to consistently make shots from anywhere this side of half-court could land me a spot on an NBA team. Now, it seems, I will never know what might have been.”
 
It’s interesting that Titus was apparently acting with Ohio State’s blessing. His blog lists assistant athletic director for communication Dan Wallenberg as the contact for media requests, and according to the blog, David Egelhoff, the team’s director of basketball operations told Titus the reaction from the NBA wasn’t a big deal before later informing him the league said to withdraw “or else.”
 
Minnesota has no restrictions on student-athlete blogging, according to two school representatives, however student-athletes “need to be careful about what they write and post.” The athletic department does occasionally use student-athletes to blog for the University and sometimes allows them to provide blogs for news outlets.
 
Former men’s basketball player Travis Busch regularly posted a web blog called “The What Else? Show” with former Daily sports editor Zach Eisendrath. However, the University approved the show with the stipulation that basketball not be discussed. Busch has since left the team.