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Archive for Friday, December 10, 2004

Ohio State imposes postseason ban

Buckeyes’ men’s basketball team penalized for payment

December 10, 2004

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— Ohio State imposed a one-year ban on postseason play by its men's basketball team in response to $6,000 the university said former coach Jim O'Brien gave a recruit who never played for the school.

"It's too bad. It's a shame. I'm sick about it. I hate it," athletic director Andy Geiger said Thursday, calling it a major violation of NCAA bylaws.

Ohio State President Karen Holbrook said the firing of O'Brien on June 8 was the first step in appeasing NCAA investigators. She and Geiger said more penalties may be coming.

"It doesn't mean we're finished, that there's not other stuff we're looking at," Geiger said.

O'Brien, who had coached the Buckeyes for seven seasons, was fired six weeks after he spoke with Geiger about the payment. During their conversation, Geiger said O'Brien admitted he gave $6,000 to recruit Aleksandar Radojevic in 1999.

Radojevic never played for Ohio State. He was deemed ineligible by the NCAA before he enrolled because he had accepted money to play basketball in his native Yugoslavia.

O'Brien, 14-16 in his final year with the Buckeyes, has sued Ohio State for at least $3.4 million, claiming he was fired improperly.

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