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

  1. #16
    Bunn-O-matic max venable's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Sugarcreek, Ohio

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

    I thought this editorial was worth a look:
    By Dave Biddle
    Assistant Editor
    Date: Feb 15, 2006

    Jim O'Brien won his lawsuit against Ohio State, but it doesn't make it any easier to believe his bogus claims. In today's edition of Bucknotes, Dave Biddle explains why it's obvious that O'Brien is not being honest about why he gave a former OSU basketball recruit money.

    Jim O’Brien won his lawsuit against Ohio State, but can anyone believe a word he says? The former OSU basketball coach was fired in June 2004 for giving at least $6,000 to recruit Alexsandar Radojevic.

    O’Brien makes two claims that are very hard to believe: First, he says the gift was a “loan.” But it’s hard to imagine that the 7-3 Radojevic planned on paying the money back.

    Second, and most seriously, O’Brien claims that he knew Radojevic had forfeited his collegiate eligibility when he gave him the money (for playing briefly in a European professional league). That is as blatant of a lie as you will ever hear. “Party Poker is not a gambling site,” is easier to believe than that.

    If O’Brien knew Radojevic would never play at OSU, why did he appeal the NCAA’s decision that ruled Radojevic ineligible in 1999? Why was O’Brien quoted in numerous publications at the time blasting the NCAA for its decision to not allow Radojevic to play?

    So, let’s clear that up right now: It was not a “loan” as most news organizations are reporting. O’Brien was cheating. When he gave Radojevic the cash, he was definitely under the impression that the Serbian giant would play for Ohio State. In fact, O’Brien was shocked when he learned that Radojevic was ruled ineligible.

    As for O’Brien actually winning his lawsuit, I’m not sure who is more to blame: Judge Joseph T. Clark for buying the bogus claims, or Ohio State’s lawyers for not doing a good enough job of proving that O’Brien was lying and knew very well that he was giving a possible future OSU player money.

    In fairness to Clark, he did state that O’Brien broke his contract by giving Radojevic the money. But he added that it was not egregious enough to warrant firing. Really? Giving a recruit money is not egregious?

    O’Brien did have a clause in his contract that he could only be fired after a finding of wrongdoing by the NCAA. But then-athletic director Andy Geiger made the right move. It was obvious that giving money to a prospective student-athlete was a violation and since the NCAA relies on its schools to police themselves, I see nothing wrong with OSU firing O’Brien for what was a clear violation of NCAA rules. Giving a recruit money it right up there with point shaving. If OSU found out that O’Brien was throwing games, it would have fired him on the spot, right?

    For winning the case in the Ohio Court of Claims, O’Brien will become an even richer man. Quite a nice bonus for cheating. Just how much will he get? Well, he was seeking $3.5 million in lost wages and benefits after he was fired. With interest and other damages, he could receive nearly $9.5 million.

    To quote the former coach: “This is sad.”

    The good news is that it all worked out in the end for OSU basketball fans. The Buckeyes now have a better coach – Thad Matta. He’s a much better recruiter, more energetic, and the guess here is that he won’t do anything stupid enough to get the program placed on probation.

    O’Brien was a lazy recruiter who cheated. “I don’t recruit posses,” he liked to say. OK, fair enough. But he did pull strings for players that had names that ended in “vic.”

    Unless his head was buried in the sand, O’Brien knew exactly what was going on with Boban Savovic, the player that was living like a Serbian king in Gahanna with Kathleen Salyers. (I just made her day by mentioning her name in this column. She likes attention like Kimo Von Oelhoffen likes cheap shots.)

    I was also surprised to learn last week that O’Brien never called his former OSU players to wish them well, or just simply to say hello. Senior center Terence Dials told me that he and O’Brien have not spoken since the day it went down. That tells you about O’Brien’s integrity right there. Here were are almost two years later and O’Brien still hasn’t tried to contact his former players. The players he brought to OSU.

    The bad news for O’Brien is that I have a hard time imagining he will ever coach again. At least not a good Division I program. He has now filed lawsuits against both of his former employers, including his alma mater Boston College. Yes, O’Brien was low enough to sue his alma mater. So it’s easy to imagine how he justified giving a recruit money.


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  3. #17
    Member GAC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Bellefontaine, Ohio

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

    Doesn't matter to me. All I know is that two teams I love dearly have gotten rid of O'Briens. Luck of the Irish.
    "In my day you had musicians who experimented with drugs. Now it's druggies experimenting with music" - Alfred G Clark (circa 1972)

  4. #18
    Rally Onion! Chip R's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Cincinnati, OH

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

    In fairness to Clark, he did state that O?Brien broke his contract by giving Radojevic the money. But he added that it was not egregious enough to warrant firing. Really? Giving a recruit money is not egregious?
    Maybe the judge did his undergrad work at UK and he thought paying players was the norm, not the exception.
    Quote Originally Posted by Raisor View Post
    I was wrong
    Quote Originally Posted by Raisor View Post
    Chip is right

  5. #19
    Where's my chair? REDREAD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2000

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

    Quote Originally Posted by flyer85
    However, you don't know when they want to make an example of someone.
    That's what I agree with. I don't know enough about the OSU situation, but from what I've seen, the punishments are almost totally random.
    Magetti and Duke is another good example. The NCAA looked the other way on that one.

    I think you're right, the self imposed penalty will help them get leniency.
    Thank you Walt and Bob for bringing winning baseball back to Cincy -- it was nice while it lasted..

    Nov. 13, 2007: One of the greatest days in Reds history: John Allen gets the boot!

  6. #20
    Bunn-O-matic max venable's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Sugarcreek, Ohio

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

    CBSsportsline weighs in:
    CBS SportsLine.com Senior Writer
    Tell Gregg your opinion!

    Maybe there's no hope for college sports. Maybe this is a losing battle after all. The most recent, and possibly most dispiriting, jolt of bad news came this week when a judge ruled that Ohio State had improperly fired men's basketball coach Jim O'Brien in June 2004.


    Jim O'Brien might be turning 6,000 dirty dollars into $9 million. (Getty Images)
    O'Brien gave $6,000 to a recruit, but that major NCAA violation was not serious enough to warrant his firing, according to Judge Joseph T. Clark.

    Clark, who found his law degree on a sidewalk, said O'Brien's major NCAA violation "was not material" and therefore not cause for his dismissal. In related news, attorneys for Jim Harrick, Jan van Breda Kolff and Dave Bliss are expected to file motions to have future legal proceedings moved to Clark's courtroom.

    So the legal system is out. If a judge can't be of service, who can? Not the NCAA. The NCAA doesn't have the power of subpoena, which means the best an NCAA investigator can do is stare sternly into the eyes of a known cheater and pray the cheater confesses. If the cheater gets his story straight, and convinces those around him to keep his story straight, the NCAA has no chance.

    It's not the NCAA's fault. It's simple math: No subpoena plus no perjury equals no case.

    So if the NCAA can't root out cheaters, and the legal system is so stupid as to lay down this precedent, where do we turn? We turn back to the 1970s, that's where. Let's bring back Jerry Tarkanian and Barry Switzer and whoever was running SMU football before the death penalty. Let's exhume UCLA sugar daddy Sam Gilbert. Hey, guys, it's a party and you're invited! The NCAA is impotent, and Judge Joseph T. Clark is out on the road trying to catch a Buick in his teeth.

    This really is bad. The precedent, the NCAA knows, is awful. O'Brien gave a recruit $6,000. The recruit, Aleksandar Radojevic, was a 7-foot-3 future NBA player from Serbia. His family was going through all kinds of hell in Serbia.

    Was O'Brien's $6,000 gift done for humanitarian reasons? Maybe. But how many 5-7 Serbian mechanics did O'Brien help out?

    O'Brien's story is that he gave the money to Radojevic after learning that Radojevic already had forfeited his amateur status by playing professionally. O'Brien can't pinpoint when exactly he gave the money -- it was late 1998 or early 1999, reports from the trial say -- but he's sure it was after Radojevic was no longer a potential recruit.

    But everyone has a story. Harrick, whose son at Georgia taught a class so simple that Joseph T. Clark could have passed, says he didn't deserve to be fired. Van Breda Kolff, who at St. Bonaventure played a graduate of the same welding school that produced Judge Joseph T. Clark, says he didn't deserve to be fired.

    Now Jim O'Brien has said the same thing, and a judge, chillingly, has agreed. But if O'Brien can't be fired, who can? That's the question wafting from Judge Joseph T. Clark's courtroom like a bad stink.

    Here's the deal. When a coach commits a major NCAA violation, his bosses need to know they can fire him without legal consequences. Ohio State doesn't know yet what the consequences will be, but O'Brien's lawsuit asked for $3.5 million in lost wages and benefits. With interest and lost wages, the Associated Press is reporting, O'Brien could win more than $9 million.

    Ponzi schemes have nothing on Jim O'Brien's investment. Give a recruit $6,000, and seven years later you get $9 million!

    Stop taking notes, Harrick. No one will ever hire you again.

    Well ... maybe. Judge Joseph T. Clark could always become an athletics director.

  7. #21
    post hype sleeper cincinnati chili's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2001

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

    If anyone wants to read a copy of O'Brien's complaint, here it is (in PDF format):

    ". . . acquiring J. Blanton from Oakland for, apparently, Bailey/Cueto, Votto and a lesser prospect. I do it in a second . . . The Reds' equation this year is simple: Make Matt Belisle your #3 starter . . . trade for Blanton, win 85 or more, be in the mix all summer." - Paul Daugherty, Feb. 8, 2008

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