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Plum Diamonds Lab Grown Diamond Rings


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My lawyers have asked to meet with OSU administrators and their counsel to explain the details of what occurred, but OSU unfortunately refused to do so.
This sucks! OB seems like a really good guy, but the last thing we need is more headlines. Crappy situation all round. As someone mentioned earlier it does seem to have shades of Woody's "violation". :(
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Fired up! Ready to go!
Looks like ESPN managed to link MoC with Obie's firing:

O'Brien Out At OSU
First, Maurice Clarett. Now, more turmoil in the Ohio State athletic department. The Buckeyes unexpectedly fired men's basketball coach Jim O'Brien on Tuesday because of alleged NCAA recruiting violations dating back to 1998. O'Brien reportedly will challenge the firing.

I wish they would just LET IT REST! :smash:
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Staff member
Former Premier League Champ
Unfortunately, get used to it. I'm sure we'll have a rash of articles about "lack of institutional control" a "pattern of actions" and yes, the "Why did they fire O'Brien with all the problems Teflon Jim has?" articles over the next 48 hours.
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Administrator Emeritus
Text of the news conference:

Andy Geiger Press Conference

Press Conference With Andy Geiger, Director of Athletics
The contract of men's basketball head coach, Jim O'Brien, has been terminated

Jim O'Brien has served as head men's basketball coach at The Ohio State University since 1997-98.
Men's Basketball Home

Press Conference With Andy Geiger, Director of Athletics

O'Brien Adds Junior College Transfer to 2004-05 Roster

Radinovic Named MVP for 2003-04 Season

• CollegeSports.com Wire
• Email this to a friend


June 8, 2004

SNAPP: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Just to thank you for being here on such short notice, just a brief note to let you know that we'll have a complete transcript of this available afterwards on our Web site at OhioStateBuckeyes.com, you can also -- we can -- you can get it -- we can e-mail it to you, if you would like, or you can get a PDF file. We'll have a statement by director of athletics, Andy Geiger, after which he'll take some questions, we will not have any time to do one-on-ones afterwards so if you have questions ask him while he's at the podium.


GEIGER: Thank you, Steve. And good afternoon. I want to echo his thanks for coming out on fairly short notice. I will read my statement.

Jim O'Brien, Head Coach of Men's Basketball at Ohio State since 1997-98, has been terminated for cause, effective immediately. I have named Associate Head Coach Rick†Boyages as Interim Head Coach until a search for a new coach is completed. The other members of the staff will remain in their positions until a permanent coach is named. The new coach will name his staff. Current members may wish to be candidates for the head coaching position.

I have consulted regularly with President Holbrook about all of the issues I am going to present today, and she concurs in this difficult decision.

Let me explain to you why we have come to today's events. I will generally explain this in chronological order, but at times, the events run parallel to each other. In August of 2003, Coach O'Brien told me of a lawsuit involving members of the Columbus Serbian community and Boban†Savovic. He told me that he did not think it would be significant to the University, and he assured me he would keep me informed.

I did not hear further about the lawsuit until a concerned individual visited my office on March 18, 2004 and informed me of a lawsuit that could cause problems for Ohio State Men's Basketball. That day, the University obtained a copy of the Complaint filed in the Franklin County Common Pleas Court. The University is not a party to the lawsuit but the Complaint includes numerous allegations about the Ohio State basketball program. The suit is brought by Kathleen Salyers and involves allegations concerning housing, meals, clothes, etc. that Kathleen Salyers allegedly provided for former Ohio State Men's Basketball student-athlete Slobadan Savovic.

The University immediately began investigating whether or not there was any merit to plaintiff's allegations in the lawsuit.

On April 24, 2004, at a pre-game luncheon before the Spring Football Game, Jim O'Brien informed me of a situation and he said that he was informing me because he was certain that it would be disclosed as a part of the afore-mentioned lawsuit. Jim informed me that he had given prospective student-athlete Alex Radojevic $6000 after Radojevic had signed a National Letter of Intent but before his eligibility was determined. Alex Radojevic never became a student-athlete at Ohio State because the NCAA determined that he had jeopardized his amateur status by playing professional basketball in Yugoslavia before coming to the United States. Therefore, his request for reinstatement of his eligibility to the NCAA was denied in May of 1999 and he never participated in intercollegiate athletics for Ohio State. The Coach explained to me that he gave the money because he was concerned about the Radojevic family in Yugoslavia. Alex's father passed away on September 8, 1998, his mother was unable to work due to disability, and Alex has two sisters and a brother. Alex was unable to attend his father's funeral in Yugoslavia because of the war conditions there. It was intended that Alex would send the money home to his family.

On May 18, 2004, we self-reported this violation to the NCAA's enforcement staff. Since that self-report, we have been working jointly with the NCAA and legal counsel on a complete and thorough investigation into the issues raised by the lawsuit and any other issues with respect to our men's basketball program that may arise in the course of that investigation. In reviewing the relevant NCAA precedents and the pertinent legislation, it became clear that by giving Alex Radojevic money, Coach O'Brien had violated significant NCAA rules and, therefore, could not continue in his position as Head Coach of Men's Basketball at Ohio State. We feel that this action is appropriate at this time based on these admitted facts, even though the joint investigation in the allegations raised in the lawsuit surrounding Boban†Savovic continues.

There is no definitive timetable for the investigation, and it is not possible to predict any outcomes regarding the investigation. We will co-operate fully with the NCAA in getting to the truth.

Until such time as the investigation is concluded, we will not comment further on the investigation, nor will we speculate regarding possible penalties and sanctions. We consider these matters to be very serious.

The search for a new Head Coach of Men's Basketball will begin immediately. A Search Committee will be formed and announced. There will not be any public comments about the search until it is completed.

Integrity is an indispensable value to our University and to the Department of Athletics and a major breach of this value is intolerable. Given what we have celebrated together, I deeply regret that we have come to this circumstance.

REPORTER: Andy, do you expect the pending NCAA investigation into this to be an impediment to hiring a new basketball coach?

GEIGER: I think Ohio State is a terrific place, and we will be candid with all candidates as to what circumstances we find ourselves in, and we hope that we can weather the storm and head forward with a good basketball program.

REPORTER: How did Coach O'Brien, when you did disclosed that he would be fired, how did he handle this, what was his response.

GEIGER: The coach was given a choice to resign or come to this conclusion, and he chose not to resign.

REPORTER: What were his emotions? Can you tell us that?

GEIGER: He was upset.

REPORTER: Andy is there any procedures in place within the university for Jim to appeal this decision within the university system, or would you have to take that up in a court of law.

GEIGER: I think this was pretty well vetted in the university system, and he would have to take other recourse if he wants to challenge.

REPORTER: In conversations you had with him, he obviously acknowledged that he did provide the money to Radojevic.

GEIGER: He told me that he did.

REPORTER: Did he have anything in the way of, I don't know, any kind of defense for doing this. Obviously, he knows that violates NCAA bylaws. He admitted that he knew that he did, and a couple of weeks ago he offered to resign, and I told him as early as that was in our situation, that he should get very good advice, and -- and then make -- make his judgment. And our next conversation about it was today.

REPORTER: When was the first time that you became aware that he had given money? You went through a timetable there. But the first time --

GEIGER: The first time that I was aware of the violation concerning Radojevic was the morning of the spring game.

REPORTER: And can you just give a spirit of your reaction to that? You mentioned in your statement that you've been close to Jim O'Brien, he came to your aid last fall, some things were being said about the way you run the department, and I wonder what your reaction was to a guy that you had been very close to admitting that?

GEIGER: I didn't really react, other than to say that -- that it was concerning, but I'd appreciated that he told me. I didn't -- I didn't react further.

REPORTER: You weren't shocked that this guy that you really thought -- you've held up as kind of the epitome.

GEIGER: Are you asking outwardly my response to Jim or inwardly.

REPORTER: Inwardly, your reaction.

GEIGER: I was stunned.

REPORTER: Can you talk just a moment about Kathleen Salyers and the lawsuit, I was unclear about that, how she was involved?

GEIGER: I thought I made it reasonably clear and don't feel that I can comment on that because it is an ongoing lawsuit. So I don't want to get into anything about the lawsuit, other than the fact that it's -- that it's out there.

REPORTER: Andy, if it were not for the Salyers lawsuit, would this have been enough with the Radojevic, and with him admitting it right there, to have his employment end?

GEIGER: The admission of the giving of $6,000 is enough of an issue to take this step.

REPORTER: Why is it important, the lawsuit?

GEIGER: Why is it important?

REPORTER: Does this show perhaps there was a track record?

GEIGER: As I said -- as I said in the statement, there are other issues raised in the lawsuit, which we feel we must pursue investigativelily with the NCAA.

REPORTER: Andy, in this time line, I'm not sure at this point, was Rick still on staff at the point this was going on, and by appointing him interim coach, are you satisfied that he had no involvement?

GEIGER: I had a long time with Rick about noontime today, and I'm assured by him that he was not involved in this, and unfamiliar with it.

REPORTER: What about any of the other coaches who were on the staff?

GEIGER: I haven't talked -- well, any of the coaches who were on the staff then, I haven't interviewed them, so I can't comment.

REPORTER: Andy, the lawsuit, the university's not involved in that at all, and who's suing who?

GEIGER: The suit is brought by Kathleen Salyers.

REPORTER: And it's against --

GEIGER: She's the plaintiff.

REPORTER: She's suing Boban.

GEIGER: I've said all I can say, sir.

REPORTER: The university's not involved in this.

GEIGER: The university is not a part of the lawsuit.

REPORTER: You said a couple weeks ago that Jim offered to resign and recently, a couple of days ago, you gave him the option to resign.

GEIGER: This morning I gave him the option.

REPORTER: Can you explain --

GEIGER: I can't explain.

REPORTER: What changed there or not?

GEIGER: I can't explain, you will have to ask Jim.

REPORTER: Have you spoken to the players, Andy, and how will that process --

GEIGER: The players I am told met with Coach O'Brien this afternoon, this is exam week, several players could not get to that meeting because they have exams, and several are going into exams later this afternoon. I will meet with the players probably tomorrow.

REPORTER: What will you tell them, Andy?

GEIGER: I'll just talk about the facts as I have them and assure them that we will go forward with a search for an excellent coach and continue to try to have a very strong basketball program, and I will have at least one member of the team as a member of the search committee.

REPORTER: Is he allowed to have any contact with players at this point? Is O'Brien allowed to have any contact with players?

GEIGER: We haven't discussed that or crossed that bridge at this point.

REPORTER: Andy, there's no gray area here at all? The amount of the money is what --

GEIGER: Clay, this was a valued person, is a valued person, somebody that it's well-known that I've been very, very fond of, that we're taking this step because we think it's very clear.

REPORTER: Are you troubled that because a guy cared about a kid, he's lost his job in essence, a guy who apparently was in dire straits.

GEIGER: I'm troubled that -- that a rule was admittedly violated and it took five years for it to find out about it.

REPORTER: On a personal note, you talked about how he is a friend of yours, how hard is this for you?

GEIGER: I don't want to get into the personal part, I think that's between the two of us. You know how I feel about Jim.

REPORTER: You said at one time a good administrator always has fallback positions and you always have some names that you bandy about. Do you have any kind of a list that you might go off of.

GEIGER: The papers haven't been printed yet, so I haven't gotten my list.

REPORTER: As fond as you are and that it took five years to find out about it, do you feel betrayed, your trust in it.

GEIGER: I don't want to characterize it in emotional terms at this point. We've made a very clear decision with regard to the rules as we see them, and I'm going to leave it at that.

REPORTER: Andy, do you think the issue would have been raised if the lawsuit wouldn't have happened, do you think Coach O'Brien would have come to you with the information?

GEIGER: In telling me about it, he stated that he was telling me because he knew it was going to be revealed as part of the deposing process.

REPORTER: You wouldn't have heard otherwise?

GEIGER: Who knows.

REPORTER: Andy, when you were first hired here as athletic director, you inherited a situation where the assistant basketball coach had given a student $60, who you elected to keep that coach on, now someone with $6,000, and you're electing to fire him. Is it the amount of the money? What's the difference?

GEIGER: I think order of magnitude is part of it, and I think that we've worked hard to develop a strong compliance climate and a climate of trust, and I think those are the issues.

REPORTER: Is any of it related to the fact that the basketball team has not achieved the last two seasons what you would like to see it achieve?

GEIGER: No, I have -- I think Jim O'Brien is an excellent basketball coach, and I was enthused about the future.

REPORTER: The money that was given, was it O'Brien's or the school's?

GEIGER: My understanding, it was not the school's.

REPORTER: Andy, what is the situation now with recruits who have signed letters?

GEIGER: We will be contacting them and try to convince them to stay with Ohio State, and we'll cross that bridge when we get to it. We haven't had those conversations.

REPORTER: Do they have the option of --

GEIGER: We haven't had those conversations.

REPORTER: Is the Jim O'Brien's contract then terminated, Andy, what happens now?

GEIGER: He is terminated as our basketball coach, his contract is terminated today.

REPORTER: He gets paid no more money?

GEIGER: Terminated effective day.

REPORTER: Do you have any idea of a timetable, Andy?

GEIGER: When we're satisfied that we have the candidate that we want. And that we have a mutual understanding.

REPORTER: Andy, do you know if it was own Coach O'Brien's with the recruit, or were there assistant coaches involved at the time, also?

GEIGER: I can't get into any aspect of the investigations at this time, Doug, I don't want to get into details, and I certainly don't want to speculate.

REPORTER: You said the money is not the school's, but you didn't specify it was Jim O'Brien's, is it possible a third party, a booster of some sort was involved?

GEIGER: Steve, I don't want to get involved in details of something that we need to pursue further. The issue it's a violation of -- Heather will correct me if I'm wrong, 13.2.1, illegal inducements. Whether or not a student has signed a letter of intent is immaterial, they're still a prospective student athlete, and that's Compliance 101.

REPORTER: Andy you said --

GEIGER: One more question.

REPORTER: You said before that you intend to stay here two more years and then retire. I wonder if in your experience of hiring coaches for positions like this, they a lot of times want to know who their boss is, do you expect your limited remaining tenure here to be an issue with whoever you hire.

GEIGER: May be an advantage for somebody, who knows. This is a wonderful university, and a great place to coach basketball, I think, to coach anything. And we'll rely on that as our recruiting basis for a new coach. Thank you all very much. Appreciate it.

SNAPP: One other quick announcement, we will have copies of both Andy's statement and a statement from president Karen Holbrook available to you, Todd Lamb and Lauren Price have those. We hope to have coach Boyages and maybe one or more of our players available tomorrow for a press conference. We'll get back with you in the morning and let you know what time that is. I don't think either coach Boyages or any of the players are available today, we will have them available tomorrow. Thank you.
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Our church has no bells.
One good thing I see from reading the statement: I don't think OB will have trouble getting another top slot. Yes, he broke a major rule in a major way, but it was clearly well-intentioned and, at least arguably, for a good reason. I don't think anyone could reasonably expect a recurrence. Yes, it's a problem that it festered for five years, but he did great things at OSU and he'll get on somewhere else. Steve Fischer is coaching in San Diego. Tark got a second chance. Dumbass Price from WashSt/Bama is coaching again. OB will get another shot, maybe even at a school where basketball is the number one sport.
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Wears Scarlet-colored glasses
NBC4 reports that Biancardi is involved in the lawsuit. A man named Roslovic told Slayers she'd be paid $1000/month if she would take care of Boban. Roslovic is supposedly a booster and OSU told him that he could not house him because of that. That's when he supposedly went to Salyers. Biancardi allegedly arranged this. No mention of OB in there.
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Cognoscente of Omphaloskepsis
Staff member
Fitting that the 'hero' of Watergate should make that last post. If that is true we could be sitting on a real mess with significant sanctions. We could also all be revising our opinions of Obie.

Please note use of the word "IF".

?? And we would want to jeopardize the program for a player of Bobon's caliber because.....??
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Good riddance, OB. Way to spread OSU's name in the mud. I love how he's whining about not being able to talk to AG. Uh, when you violate the code of conduct in your job description, you deserve to be fired. You don't deserve one last meeting in a pathetic attempt to beg for your job back.

at least he now can't use his honesty and integrity as excuses for his piss poor recruiting classes. Our coach WAS willing to cheat and we still got second rate players as our recruits. If you're going to cheat and risk OSU's good name in the process, at least do it for Lebron James not for some schmoe.
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hipster doofus
rugbybuck said:
Tubby Smith. That ok with you, JLB? UKs had him long enough.
HAHAHA! You wish! Tubby is the Jim Tressel of college basketball. If Tubby goes anywhere it'd be the NBA. I think he retires at UK though. For those who remember, Geiger wanted Tubby last go-'round, and settled for O'Brien.
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