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yoco :: College Basketball
(a sports weblog) news and commentary on men's college basketball and the ncaa tournament

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Thursday, November 11, 2004

I'm not symathetic to Jim O'Brien's

lawsuit against Ohio State University. Obie broke the law -- repeatedly -- after promoting himself as a squeaky clean "good guy."

The legal action hinges on two points of contractual language: the assertion that there has been no finding of a breech of NCAA rules by the coach, and that O'Brien was not fired for cause.

The first point was only a matter of time. Given a month, the NCAA would have documented numerous transgressions by O'Brien. But the initial reports were so damning, OSU had to act. Further, Obie himself admitted to a violation worthy of dismissal.

Ohio State fired O'Brien on Tuesday after he admitted he gave $6,000 in 1999 to Aleksandar Radojevic, a Buckeyes recruit who never played for or attended Ohio State.

The second point relates to the first. Obie knew assistant coach Paul Biancardi had provided financial and academic assistance to Radojevic. While coach may not have known that the wife of the booster he had set Radojevic up with had become the young man's lover, he knew he was acting illegally in enabling cash payments to a recruit. OSU therefore had just cause to terminate his contract.