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Thread: Judge: Ohio State improperly fired ex-coach O'Brien

  1. #1
    Bunn-O-matic max venable's Avatar
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    Judge: Ohio State improperly fired ex-coach O'Brien

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A judge ruled Wednesday that Ohio State improperly fired basketball coach Jim O'Brien in 2004 after university officials learned he had loaned money to a recruit.

    O'Brien broke his contract by giving the $6,000 loan, but the error was not serious enough to warrant firing, Ohio Court of Claims Judge Joseph T. Clark said, finding in O'Brien's favor in the coach's lawsuit against the university.

    "Because plaintiff's failure of performance was not material, defendant did not have cause for termination," the judge wrote.

    O'Brien sued the university for $3.5 million in lost wages and benefits after he was fired in June 2004. With interest and other damages, he could receive nearly $9.5 million. Damages will be determined after another hearing.

    The coach, who led Ohio State to the Final Four in 1999, had argued that the personal loan to Aleksandar Radojevic, a 7-foot-3 prospect from Serbia, was not a violation because he knew Radojevic already had forfeited his amateur status by playing professionally.

    He said he gave the money to Radojevic's family in late 1998 or early 1999 because the player's father had recently died and the family needed money for a funeral.

    Radojevic never played for the Buckeyes, and O'Brien said he didn't tell university officials because it was a moot point.

    In his lawsuit, O'Brien contended he was fired before any investigation could even determine if he had broken NCAA rules. A provision of his contract said the NCAA had to rule on alleged violations before he could be fired for that reason.

    Ohio State President Karen Holbrook testified that she didn't have to wait to hear from the NCAA how serious the violation was.

    "The contract still requires him to uphold Ohio State's standards, which are the same as the NCAA's in part, but nonetheless, it is an Ohio State contract that was breached," she said.

    But in his ruling, the judge disputed the university's claim that O'Brien acted in bad faith and tried to cover up his actions.

    "The evidence does not support such a sinister view of plaintiff's misconduct," Clark said.

    O'Brien, 55, coached the Buckeyes to a 133-88 record that included two Big Ten titles and a conference tournament title in seven seasons.

    The NCAA is also investigating alleged violations committed during O'Brien's coaching tenure with the Buckeyes. It is expected to decide within the next few weeks on penalties for the program over the nine alleged violations, seven in the men's basketball program, one in football and one in women's basketball.

    A university spokeswoman said a statement would be released later Wednesday.
    http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/news/story?id=2331340

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    He has the Evil Eye! flyer85's Avatar
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    Re: Judge: Ohio State improperly fired ex-coach O'Brien

    oops.

    :fineprint
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    Re: Judge: Ohio State improperly fired ex-coach O'Brien

    Now if the NCAA places sanctions on OSU you can kiss that recruiting class next year good bye.

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    Rally Onion! Chip R's Avatar
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    Re: Judge: Ohio State improperly fired ex-coach O'Brien

    I guess they need to bring O'Brien back now, eh?
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    Bunn-O-matic max venable's Avatar
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    Re: Judge: Ohio State improperly fired ex-coach O'Brien

    The judge said he violated his contract- end of ruling! What a spineless judgement. You either violate it or you don't. There is no gray area.

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    Re: Judge: Ohio State improperly fired ex-coach O'Brien

    Honestly it's the best thing ever that he gave that cash. Matta is the man.
    This is the time. The real Reds organization is back.

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    Re: Judge: Ohio State improperly fired ex-coach O'Brien

    Quote Originally Posted by Cedric
    Honestly it's the best thing ever that he gave that cash. Matta is the man.
    I agree. Now let's just get this thing behind us and get ready for March Madness!

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    He has the Evil Eye! flyer85's Avatar
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    Re: Judge: Ohio State improperly fired ex-coach O'Brien

    Quote Originally Posted by Reds4Life
    Now if the NCAA places sanctions on OSU you can kiss that recruiting class next year good bye.
    this doesn't change the OSU/NCAA violations scenario. I can see the Bucks getting some scholarship reductions but I doubt they would get another post season ban.
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    Re: Judge: Ohio State improperly fired ex-coach O'Brien

    This ruling has nothing at all to do with what the NCAA does as far as sanctions. And as flyer said, I only see them having to remove the Final Four banner and pay back the money and maybe lose a few scholarships.

    I would be stunned, and I do me stunned if any more post season bans fall.
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    The wino and I know bucksfan's Avatar
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    Re: Judge: Ohio State improperly fired ex-coach O'Brien

    I echo what others have said, this has nothing to do with NCAA sanctions that may or may not be levied against the program.

    It still is very odd to me. I have no idea why, if he really wanted to help the kid, Obiedid not just go through the compliance office to see what could be done. The fact that he did not baffles me.
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    Where's my chair? REDREAD's Avatar
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    Re: Judge: Ohio State improperly fired ex-coach O'Brien

    Quote Originally Posted by flyer85
    this doesn't change the OSU/NCAA violations scenario. I can see the Bucks getting some scholarship reductions but I doubt they would get another post season ban.
    It all depends. NC State got slammed hard when they only thing they proved was that some players sold their shoes. Of course, OSU is lucky that no one wrote a book about them.

    I'm not hoping OSU gets hit hard, but it's certainly possible. The NCAA punishments are almost totally random.
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    Designated Threadkiller LincolnparkRed's Avatar
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    Re: Judge: Ohio State improperly fired ex-coach O'Brien

    Quote Originally Posted by redsfan30
    I only see them having to remove the Final Four banner and pay back the money and maybe lose a few scholarships.

    I would be stunned, and I do me stunned if any more post season bans fall.
    I think the banners only come down when a player on that team actually violates some sort of rule. Since Rodojevic never played this shouldn't affect their tournament results. Also if they lose that banner then Duke should lose 1999 as well for Maggette.

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    He has the Evil Eye! flyer85's Avatar
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    Re: Judge: Ohio State improperly fired ex-coach O'Brien

    Quote Originally Posted by REDREAD
    It all depends. NC State got slammed hard when they only thing they proved was that some players sold their shoes. Of course, OSU is lucky that no one wrote a book about them.

    I'm not hoping OSU gets hit hard, but it's certainly possible. The NCAA punishments are almost totally random.
    they already took a self imposed post-season ban last year on what would have been an NCAA tourney team(as it turned out). I just don't see the NCAA hitting them with another one. However, you don't know when they want to make an example of someone.
    What are you, people? On dope? - Mr Hand

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    The wino and I know bucksfan's Avatar
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    Re: Judge: Ohio State improperly fired ex-coach O'Brien

    Quote Originally Posted by REDREAD
    It all depends. NC State got slammed hard when they only thing they proved was that some players sold their shoes. Of course, OSU is lucky that no one wrote a book about them.

    I'm not hoping OSU gets hit hard, but it's certainly possible. The NCAA punishments are almost totally random.

    OSU already self-sanctioned in hopes that such an action would be a show of good faith towards the charges regarding Savovic and the O'Brien payment to Radejovic. I think the point is that this ruling against OSU from a legal perspective would not impact what the NCAA would do as far as any further penalities against the OSU program. At least I cannot see any possible connection.
    "I'm virtually free to do whatever I want, but I try to remember so is everybody else..." - Todd Snider

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    I hate the Cubs LoganBuck's Avatar
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    Re: Judge: Ohio State improperly fired ex-coach O'Brien

    I was glad when Obrien was canned. I still think it was the right thing to do. He lied to his boss's face, and committed serious violations. Anybody else would have been canned as well. Too bad Obrien has no shame. Oh yeah, he was a terrible recruiter and an overall mediocre coach.
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