Tuesday , Jun , 08 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

Ohio State fires Jim O’Brien

Columbus, OH (Sports Network) – Ohio State University men’s head basketball
coach Jim O’Brien was fired Tuesday due to a violation of NCAA bylaws. The
school announced that associate head coach Rick Boyages will take over for
O’Brien on an interim basis.

The infraction included trying to financially assist a recruit’s family.

In 1998, O’Brien tried to recruit Aleksander Radojevic from Serbia, but he
became aware that the player’s mother was in need of assistance. He offered
the mother a financial payment to help her out, but Radojevic eventually
decided not to attend the university and instead entered the 1999 NBA Draft.
Radojevic was chosen by the Toronto Raptors with the 12th pick in the first

O’Brien was notified of his firing through a letter from athletic director
Andy Geiger earlier on Tuesday, but was officially dismissed during an
afternoon press conference.

The 54-year-old O’Brien became the 12th head coach in school history prior to
the 1997-98 season and guided the Buckeyes to the Final Four in the 1998-99
campaign before losing to eventual national champion Connecticut.

During his seven-year tenure with Ohio State, O’Brien compiled a 133-88
record, including leading his club to a share of the Big 10 regular season
title in 1999-2000 and 2001-02. This past season, the Buckeyes were just
14-16 and 6-10 in conference play.

O’Brien has also served as the head coach of St. Bonaventure for four years
and enjoyed an 11-year stint with Boston College. His career coaching mark is