Ohio State fires Jim O'Brien
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In 1998, O'Brien attempted to recruit Aleksander Radojevic from Serbia, but he became aware that the player's mother was in need of assistance. He sent the mother a financial payment of $6,000 to help her out, but Radojevic eventually decided not to attend the university and was later ruled ineligible because he had been paid to play basketball in Europe. He entered the 1999 NBA Draft and was chosen by the Toronto Raptors with the 12th pick in the first round.
O'Brien, who admitted to his wrongdoing, 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.
Geiger said he first gave O'Brien the option of resigning, but the coach refused. O'Brien and his attorney, James Zeszutek, are likely to plan legal action against the university.
"Integrity is an indispensable value to our university and to the department of athletics and a major breach of this value is intolerable," said Geiger. "Given what we have celebrated together, I deeply regret that we have come to this circumstance."
The 54-year-old O'Brien became the 12th head coach in school history prior to the 1997-98 season and guided the
During his seven-year tenure with
O'Brien has also served as the head coach of
The 41-year-old Boyages spent three seasons on the