The NCAA today placed Ohio State University on three years’ probation and penalized former head coach Jim O’Brien and a former assistant for giving money to the mother of a basketball recruit.
OSU will be allowed to remain in tournament play this year and will not be banned from future tournaments. It must reimburse money received for participation in the 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002 NCAA men’s basketball tournaments, estimated at less than $800,000 by OSU Athletics Director Gene Smith.
The NCAA tournament records of the men’s basketball team and individual record of an ineligible student athlete are vacated for the 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002 tournaments.
These penalties are in addition to the penalties self-imposed by Ohio State, including the firing of O’Brien and no tournament play by the men’s team in the 2004-2005 season.
The NCAA gave O’Brien a five-year penalty through 2011 that would require any NCAA institution seeking to hire him to appear before the NCAA to determine how his duties should be limited.
Former assistant coach Paul Biancardi, who is now head men’s basketball coach at Wright State, is prohibited from recruiting until Oct. 1, 2007.
Ohio State fired O’Brien on June 8, 2004, for giving $6,000 to the mother of recruit Aleksandar Radojevic (above) in late 1998 or early 1999. The NCAA also investigated the housing arrangement that former player Boban Savovic had and benefits he received from Kathleen Salyers of Gahanna.