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Administrator Emeritus
Ohio State Men's Basketball Press Conference
Comments from Interim Head Coach Rick Boyages and captain Terence Dials

June 9, 2004

Ohio State Interim Head Coach Rick Boyages
Opening statement:
"A year ago, I was approached by Jim O'Brien and Director of Athletics Andy Geiger, about the opportunity of leaving my head coaching position at The College of William & Mary in order to return to Ohio State. At that time, I publicly discussed my admiration for both men, as well as The Ohio State University and its athletics program.

"At noon yesterday, I was informed by Andy Geiger of the circumstances surrounding Coach O'Brien's dismissal. Andy asked me if I would assume the title of interim head coach and I accepted. As difficult as this is for me, I am extremely proud to assist the university in any way I can.

"I will continue to assure our players, the incoming recruits, and future prospects, of the great virtues of Ohio State and commit all of my energy to this basketball program. The players have worked exceptionally hard this spring and I assure you that we will continue to make progress. We're fortunate to have the country's finest facilities, tremendous administrative support, and great fans. This program will persevere.

"Andy has stated that he considers me a viable candidate for the position, but that a formal search will be undertaken in the days ahead. I'd very much like to be considered. I have coached at the collegiate level for nearly 20 years, have a decade of experience in the Big East and Big Ten, and have been a head coach at the Division I level. I am quite confident in my ability to do the job."

On when he was informed of Coach O'Brien's termination:
"I was informed in a meeting yesterday with Andy (Geiger). It has just been a whirlwind and it caught everybody by surprise.

On his thoughts on Coach O'Brien's actions:
"I am shocked about the topic in general. I am not at all shocked with his honesty.

"I can't comment on anything aspect of the investigation. I have a 10-year track record with Jim (O'Brien). Our families are extremely close. I am not at all bitter. I feel privileged to have the opportunity to work with him. The majority of what I know in basketball came from him. I look up to him as a basketball coach and as a person. He has always been a big-hearted guy. Right now for me, what's important is that Andy (Geiger) has asked me to take on this responsibility. I have every bit as much respect for Andy as I do Jim. It's a difficult time. I think I am up for the task.

On him being a candidate for the head coaching position:
"I would absolutely consider myself a viable candidate. I have just about 20 years in college coaching. I have a decade in the Big East and the Big Ten. I have been the associate head coach. I have been involved in every aspect of a program at a high level. I have been a Division I head coach. I have been a small college head coach. I have been an assistant professor. I have coached other sports. I feel I am more than qualified. I know how difficult (the selection process) is. I have a lot of faith in Andy."

On him wanted to stay on as an assistant coach if he did not get the head coaching job:
"Very much. First and foremost, I would have never returned to Columbus if I didn't love Ohio State. For a guy that didn't grow up in Ohio or graduate from this university, I want to be a Buckeye. There is something special here, no question about it. There is great leadership here and great people. I don't think there is a better institution in America. If I have the opportunity to stay, I would have serious interest."

Ohio State captain Terence Dials
On the state of the team right now:
"I speak for the whole team that we are all shocked right now. We didn't know any of this was coming about but when Coach O'Brien told us we were all shocked. There is a lot of emotion going through our heads right now. We are a family and we are able to get through this. He (O'Brien) was part of our family but he is gone now and we have to get through it."

On what Coach O'Brien said to the team:
"He told us the situation and what was going to happen with him and our program. He wanted to let us know that he wants us to keep going. We have worked this past nine weeks very hard and had 6 a.m. workouts. He wants us to keep going forward and not take a step back just because he is leaving."

On the emotion:
"It was pretty sad. He is leaving a part of his family right now. We all look up to him. It was an emotional time."

On when he met with Coach O'Brien:
"We had team meeting yesterday in the afternoon. Just about the entire team was there but there were a couple guys who had a final. It was very shocking. We had no idea what was coming. We came in and he just let us know what the situation was. The room got quiet and we reflected on a lot of things and that was it."

On next year:
"We have to keep moving forward. I hate to say it, but this is a thing of the past now. We have to work hard and improve on what we did last season. We didn't have a good year. Our goal is still to be a better team than last year, regardless of who is coaching. We have (interim head coach) Coach Boyages right now and he is going to keep us straight. We just need to try to get better."

On whom he would like to be the new coach:
"Personally, I would like to see Coach Boyages as new head coach. He has been with Coach O'Brien. He knows the system. He knows us personally. That would be a great fit for us. As far as what Andy Geiger wants, I don't know."

On the program in his last two years of eligibility:
"Hopefully we will be able to go uphill. We can't do worse than last year. A lot of the guys are back and they are hungry to get better. Hopefully the ship will keep rolling and we'll have a better season than last year."

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Wears Scarlet-colored glasses
Interesting comment from Mike DeCourcy of TSN:
An NCAA investigation, which also will look into a lawsuit that alleges academic misconduct and illicit payments involving former player Boban Savovic, is unlikely to destabilize the Ohio State program in the manner Buckeyes fans fear. The prevailing doom in Columbus is the most overwrought drama since Out Of Africa. This is not the Michigan/Chris Webber case. It is unlikely to lead to anything more than minor sanctions and will not prevent any coach from accepting the job.

I sure hope he's right.

BTW, in reading this column and others, I've seen many references to OSU as a "sleeping giant" and talking about how it is one of the most attactive jobs in the nation. Why this love all of a sudden?

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Administrator Emeritus
BTW, in reading this column and others, I've seen many references to OSU as a "sleeping giant" and talking about how it is one of the most attactive jobs in the nation. Why this love all of a sudden?

Yep, I've noticed that as well Nixon. It's a bit odd, I don't remember a time (except VERY young) when the media thought the OSU basketball HC job was so "choice". I also, don't remember several high profile names coming right out and saying they'd be interested in the job.
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Cognoscente of Omphaloskepsis
Staff member
I am also surprised by the number of quality candidates who have indicated some level of interest in the job. This was not the case when either Ayers or Obie were hired. Of course, there is a difference between being interested and coming to terms.

I hope DeCourcy is right. Afraid I don't share his optimism.
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MililaniBuckeye;24538; said:
Our coach WAS willing to cheat

Leave to Kashmir to fail to fathom the English language again. There's a difference in "violating rules" and "cheating". "Violating rules" is what OB did when he gave the $6,000 to help out the Radojevic family in war-torn Yugoslavia. "Cheating" is using money or other favors to coerce players into coming to play for your school (ala Michigan)...huge difference, Rashmish.

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Jim O'Brien back in college coaching?

Jim O'Brien, who has not coached since Ohio State fired him in 2004 for giving money to a recruit, is one of two former head coaches being targeted by Rutgers to replace Fred Hill, who is being forced out by the Big East school, The Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J., reported tonight.

The other reported target is Fran Fraschilla, who has not coached since he was fired by New Mexico in 2002. Fraschilla is a former Ohio State assistant (to Gary Williams) who previously was head coach at Manhattan, St. John's and New Mexico.

O'Brien is a New York native who coached in the Big East, at Boston College, before being hired by Ohio State in 1997. He has lived in Boston since his firing six years ago.

Jim O'Brien back in college coaching? (Hoops & Scoops: an OSU basketball blog)
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Rutgers targeting former Ohio State coach Jim O'Brien as replacement for Fred Hill
BY Dick Weiss
Tuesday, April 20th 2010

Rutgers is prepared to move quickly to find a new basketball coach after Fred Hill accepted a settlement Monday and resigned.

Sources have told the Daily News the job likely will go to former Ohio State coach Jim O'Brien, who the sources said may have already signed a multiyear contract worth $850,000 per.

O'Brien starred at Holy Cross High School, then played at Boston College and in the ABA. He coached BC for 11 years in the Big East, taking the Eagles to the Elite Eight in 1994. O'Brien left to take over the head coaching job at Ohio State in 1998, and led the Buckeyes to the Final Four the next year, but a tenure that included two Big Ten regular-season titles and four straight NCAA appearances ended when OSU fired O'Brien in 2004 for alleged NCAA rules violations.

Read more: Rutgers targeting former Ohio State coach Jim O'Brien as replacement for Fred Hill
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Not Banned
I'm surprised any BCS program would actually hire this guy, but Rutgers appears poised to do just that. O'Brien and his staff showed they had trouble playing by the rules and they did a poor job at recruiting. I can't imagine him doing any better at Rutgers than he did his last couple years at OSU. Rutgers is apparently planning to suck for the next several seasons.
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