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O'Brien Out As Men's Basketball Coach
By Bucknuts.com Staff**
Date: Jun 8, 2004
Ohio State has fired men's basketball head coach Jim O'Brien, reportedly due to improper benefits provided to a player.
Ohio State has fired men's basketball head coach Jim O'Brien, multiple media sources and Bucknuts.com sources report.
ESPN.com reports that O'Brien was notified of his firing by letter. In a release provided by O'Brien's lawyer James Zeszutek, O'Brien provided details of the dismissal.
"I am advised that my firing is because I was asked to and tried to give assistance to a young man's family who was in dire financial straits," the release stated. "The assistance in no way influenced the young man in his decision to attend OSU, and, indeed, the young man did not enroll at OSU."
Bucknuts.com will provide more details of this breaking story throughout the day.
O'Brien Fired At Ohio State
Geiger: Recruiting Allegations Cited
POSTED: 1:50 pm EDT June 8, 2004
UPDATED: 3:24 pm EDT June 8, 2004
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ohio State men's basketball coach Andy Geiger announced Tuesday that head basketball coach Jim O'Brien was fired.
Associate head coach Rick Boyages was named the interim head coach until a permanent replacement is named.
At an afternoon news conference, Geiger mentioned that O'Brien (pictured, left) was given the choice to resign or be fired. Geiger mentioned numerous allegations in the Columbus Serbian community against O'Brien involving former Buckeye guard Boban Savovic. Also, O'Brien mentioned a possible recruiting allegation that occurred involving former Ohio State recruit Alex Radojevic. "We feel this action is appropriate based on these admitted facts even though the lawsuit involving Boban Savovic continues," Geiger said. "We will cooperate fully with the NCAA until this investigation is complete."
O'Brien left Boston College -- his alma mater -- in 1997 to coach at Ohio State. He led the Buckeyes to five consecutive postseason tournaments and back-to-back championship games in the annual Big Ten postseason tournament.
His greatest accomplishment at Ohio State was leading the Buckeyes to college basketball's Final Four in 1999.
The Buckeyes struggled this past season and failed to make postseason play.
Watch NewsChannel 4 and refresh nbc4columbus.com for additional information.
Having listened to Geiger I am backing off my initial anger at the way Obie was treated.
The payment was made 5 years ago and was only revealed to Geiger when it became apparent to Obie that it would come out in an investigation of potential improper benevits provided to Bobon. Obie should 1) never have considered such a payment, 2) been open about it much earlier, and 3) provided any details to Geiger prior to this point. Further, since news of this payment only came out when it appeared it would be revealed of its own accord the door is open to speculation that it might not have been the only payment made.
Also, I am opening a thread on who the next coach might be so we can seperate that discussion from this one.
Also a part of the termination stems from a lawsuit pending in Franklin County (Ohio) Common Pleas Court. The suit involves former OSU player Boban Savovic but reportedly does not involve the university. The suit involves housing, meals and clothing that a women named Kathleen Salyers provided for Savovic.