Dec. 27, 2004

COLUMBUS, Ohio-Thad Matta, Ohio State men’s basketball coach, announced Monday the departure of junior Ricardo Billings.

Billings, a 6-foot-3-inch guard from Detroit, Mich., did not practice with the team after the squad regrouped after the Christmas Holiday Sunday. The team returned after a three-day break following a 102-77 victory over Mercer Dec. 22.

Billings was in his third year with the Ohio State team and his second as an eligible player. He sat out the 2002-03 season while concentrating on academics.

A child and family studies major at Ohio State, Billings appeared in 38 games with eight starts, all during the 2003-04 season. He played 44 minutes this season in eight games.

Ohio State has 11 scholarship players available for the remainder of the 2004-05 season, which resumes at 8 p.m. Tuesday against New Hampshire at Value City Arena.