View Full Version : OSU Basketball Lawsuit Dismissed

05-10-2005, 09:28 AM
Keep on fighting, Ms. Salyers! :laugh:


Appeal possible
Lawsuit that triggered Ohio State scandal dismissed
By Stewart Mandel, SI.com

A judge in Columbus, Ohio, on Monday dismissed the lawsuit that precipitated the firing of Ohio State men's basketball coach Jim O'Brien and the ongoing NCAA investigation into the Buckeyes' basketball program.

Kathleen Salyers, a Columbus-area housekeeper, had sued Ohio State boosters Dan and Kim Roslovic, for whom she had provided babysitting and cleaning services, claiming they reneged on a verbal agreement to pay her $1,000 a month plus reimburse expenses if she would provide for former Ohio State player Boban Savovic during his career with the Buckeyes.

Salyers and other witnesses testified that she supported Savovic throughout his 1998-2002 career, often housing him several nights a week. She claimed to have spent over $100,000 on food, clothing, cell phone bills, airline tickets and weekly spending money for the player, causing her to go into debt and take out a second mortgage when the Roslovics failed to compensate her.

Savovic initially lived with the Roslovics, who are now divorced, but he was forced by Ohio State to move out because the arrangement constituted an NCAA violation.

The suit was originally filed in 2003, then dropped and re-filed last summer; it was scheduled to go to trial in August. In granting the defense's motion for summary judgment, Judge Alan C. Travis, an OSU law school graduate, cited the Ohio Statute of Frauds, which states any fixed contract that extends beyond one year must be in writing.

Salyers' attorney, Jeffrey Lucas, contended the length of the contract was indeterminate and therefore did not fall under the fraud statute.

"We're very disappointed as to the judge's ruling," Lucas said. "The judge dismissed it because he believes the contract that was made with Kathleen was for a four-year period and was not for an indeterminate amount of time as we said in our response to the [motion]. We said it was month to month and could have been terminated at will."

Both Dan and Kim Roslovic claimed they never had a formal agreement with Salyers, though Kim admitted in depositions she helped pay for trips to Hawaii for Savovic and gave occasional spending money to the player, with whom she admitted having a brief sexual affair.

"There has never been any support for claims against my client, and this decision proves that," said Kris Dawley, Dan Roslovic's attorney. "There's never been any contract. We've said it from the very first day."

Lucas said he and Salyers are "looking at all of our options, and I anticipate we will probably appeal the decision." Salyers, however, citing her financial difficulties, said, "I honestly don't know if I can take another one-to-three years of this.

"It's frustrating when you sit down and tell the truth so many times, and you ... depend on the opportunity to present the case to the jury with all the facts,'' Salyers said. "Many times in my deposition I explained that the contract was [to last] for Boban's Ohio State experience. The contract could have ended before he ever started school. It could have ended when Boban's visa expired in September before his freshman year. It could have ended with a phone call from Dan or Kim Roslovic saying they no longer wanted to support Boban. It could have ended if he failed out of school. And I said these things in my deposition."

It was in those same depositions that Salyers first made numerous allegations against the Ohio State basketball program that the NCAA is now investigating. One was that O'Brien gave $6,000 to former recruit Aleksandar Radojevic, whom Salyers met through Savovic and befriended. O'Brien admitted to the violation and was subsequently fired last June (he has since sued for wrongful termination). The school later banned itself from the 2005 postseason as punishment.

Salyers also claimed to have witnessed illegal contact between OSU players and NBA agents; that she and others wrote academic papers for Savovic; and that then-assistant coach Paul Biancardi, now the head coach at Wright State, twice ordered her to persaude professors to change failing grades for Savovic. Her financial support of Savovic, if proved true, violates the NCAA's extra benefits rules for athletes.

Savovic, now playing professionally overseas, issued a statement last summer claiming Salyers "gave me occasional pocket money" but said that he lived with her for only "approximately four to five weeks" after leaving the Roslovics and denied many of her other allegations.

In the weeks before the lawsuit's dismissal, Salyers had deposed several key witnesses, including Biancardi, who denied all allegations against him. Another witness, Mike Sierawski, a past president of the local Serbian church who befriended Savovic when he first arrived in Columbus, said he gave Savovic $500 when the player was told by Ohio State he had to reimburse the Roslovics in order to restore his eligibility. Sierawski also claimed Biancardi asked him to buy pants for Radojevic and provide spending money during one of the athlete's visits to Columbus.

Ohio State athletic director Andy Geiger, who retired last month, told the Cleveland Plain Dealer in February that the NCAA could charge the school with lack of institutional control.

05-10-2005, 09:39 AM
Even though she didn't cash in, Salyers can be satisfied that she got her pound of flesh. Her bombshell took down the men's hoops coach and AD.

05-10-2005, 11:15 AM
Even though she didn't cash in, Salyers can be satisfied that she got her pound of flesh. Her bombshell took down the men's hoops coach and AD.

You are right, U. But I still shake my head at Ms. Salyers when I realize that those two got severance packages that are more than she'll ever see in her life. And in the process she has to worry about some OSU looney trying to harm her. I am sure that she was wronged. I personally know Mr. & Mrs. Roslevic. I am sure that he lied and used her (take my word for it). But her case stood little to no chance of winning from the get-go. I read her entire deposition and her answers are laughable. And I think the judges are thinking the same as myself. This was all about making good $$ to her. I am sure she could care less about getting people fired. She wanted her retirement fund and it looks like she won't get it from the Roslevics or OSU.

Perhaps she can still cash-in on the Jerry Springer type shows?!!? :devil:

08-26-2005, 09:10 AM
Can't imagine that Jim O'Brien has many cards left to play.


University puts blame on fired coach O’Brien, one assistant
Friday, August 26, 2005
Kathy Lynn Gray and Aaron Portzline

Ohio State University said yesterday that it properly monitored its men’s basketball program and instead heaped blame for violations of NCAA rules on two former coaches.

The assertion came as the school sent its 200-page response to nine charges of wrongdoing to the NCAA. Accompanying the response were thousands of pages of supporting documents.

Ohio State agreed with eight of the NCAA’s allegations but said that one — that it had failed to monitor an incoming basketball player’s housing and his relationship with a Gahanna woman — was not true.

The report slams former men’s basketball coach Jim O’Brien and one of his assistants, Paul Biancardi, saying they knew — but did not report — that player Slobodan "Boban" Savovic was receiving benefits that violated NCAA rules.

"Ohio State has found itself the victim of improper behavior on the part of two former coaches and a few boosters, which has given rise to the allegations," the report concludes. "The institution . . . took all reasonable steps to ensure the university’s compliance with NCAA bylaws and did not fail to adequately monitor the situation."

The NCAA has charged OSU with seven suspected NCAA violations in the men’s basketball program and one each in football and women’s basketball.

The violation in the women’s basketball program is that a Columbus orthodontist provided free or discounted care to players. The football violation stems from quarterback Troy Smith taking $500 from an OSU booster.

The NCAA’s infractions committee will review the allegations and responses at a hearing Dec. 9-10. That committee will decide any punishment.

Ohio State already has selfimposed one penalty, stripping the men’s basketball team of a possible postseason berth in the 2004-05 season.

Another penalty is listed in the report: the reduction of men’s basketball scholarships for the upcoming season. Those have been cut from the permitted 13 to 11. OSU has given out 10 scholarships so far.

The university said it is considering additional punishments for its programs.

Kathleen Salyers, the Gahanna woman who is the subject of several NCAA allegations, scoffed at the idea that the violations were caused by rogue coaches.

"To say that Ohio State didn’t know what was going on, well they should have because everyone else did," she said last night.

And O’Brien’s attorney, who has filed a separate response to the NCAA allegations that defends his client and says the OSU compliance system failed, questioned the university’s version of events.

"If their letter contradicts our letter," Murray said, "they aren’t telling the truth."

Ohio State officials said they wouldn’t comment on the report yesterday.

Intertwined with the NCAA investigation are two lawsuits.

In one, Salyers is seeking compensation for caring for Savovic, a native of Serbia Montenegro. She said her former bosses, Dan Roslovic and his former wife, Kim, had promised to pay her $1,000 a month plus expenses to care for Savovic.

Salyers’ lawsuit kicked off the NCAA investigation when depositions in the case revealed that O’Brien had given another potential recruit, Aleksander Radojevic, $6,700 to help his family in Yugoslavia in the fall of 1998. Radojevic never played at OSU.

In the other case, O’Brien wants $3.5 million from Ohio State, arguing that the school fired him in June 2004 in violation of his contract. O’Brien was fired because of the $6,700.

Information from both cases has been used in the NCAA investigation.

Ohio State concluded that the first allegation, which involved the gift to Radojevic, is true. O’Brien told NCAA investigators that he gave the money to Biancardi; Biancardi told investigators that he then gave the money to Spomenko "Semi" Pajovic, a street agent, to give to Radojevic’s family.

O’Brien has said this wasn’t a violation because Radojevic had been deemed ineligible for college sports.

Several of the allegations center on benefits Savovic received from Salyers. The NCAA alleges that those benefits broke a rule that a player cannot receive anything of value from a booster.

OSU’s report says that O’Brien "encouraged and supported" the relationship between Salyers and Savovic rather than monitoring it, as evidenced by O’Brien providing Salyers with two season basketball tickets for four years.

Biancardi, now head basketball coach at Wright State University, "was aware of and actively participated in" the arrangement for Savovic to live in Salyers’ home and knew Salyers was paying Savovic’s international taxes, the report concludes.

As evidence for that conclusion, the report cites notes from Heather Lyke Catalano about a July 27, 1998, meeting with O’Brien and Biancardi. Lyke said she told the coaches that Savovic needed to pay his own expenses if he stayed in Columbus and that Biancardi should document Savovic’s rent payments with copies of his checks.

O’Brien denied knowledge of that meeting and Biancardi said that, while he remembers discussing Savovic’s housing and rent payments, he cannot remember details of the conversation or when it took place.

Biancardi admitted in a June 29, 2004, interview with an NCAA investigator that he did not check with anyone at Ohio State to determine whether Savovic was permitted to live at Salyers’ home.

OSU’s report also says:

• Savovic "played up his academic weaknesses" so Salyers and others would help him with his schoolwork.

• Biancardi denied any involvement in providing Salyers with basketball tickets, although Salyers said Biancardi had given her an envelope containing tickets twice and O’Brien said he might have had Biancardi give her the tickets. Ohio State said Biancardi’s denial of any knowledge of the tickets was not credible.

• Biancardi lied about a phone call to Mike Sierawski, a Columbus resident who befriended Savovic. In the call, which Sierawski had recorded, Biancardi asked Sierawski to sign a form agreeing to provide financial support for Savovic.

• Ohio State has sent letters telling several people that they cannot associate with the school’s athletic program. Letters went to Salyers, Sierawski, the Roslovics and Robert Q. Baker and his wife. Baker was involved with the Troy Smith violation. The school also sent "letters of education" to several individuals, including Sam Farb, an OSU booster who gave Savovic a ride to Salyers’ home. Salyers also has said Farb drove the late Dave Thomas to Salyers’ home, where the Wendy’s founder allegedly tried to give Savovic some money.

• Yearly performance evaluations show the OSU compliance staff did not grade O’Brien and Biancardi well on compliance matters. Both were criticized repeatedly for their failure to document recruiting visits.

• The Roslovics refused to talk to the NCAA.

O’Brien’s attorney said his client could not comment on OSU’s report. Biancardi’s attorney did not return telephone calls.

Dispatch reporter Suzanne Wilder contributed to this story.