Saturday, September 16, 2006
Ohio State appeals $2.4 million award to O'Brien
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ohio State has filed an appeal in a bid to
overturn a judge's decision awarding $2.4 million to fired former
men's basketball coach Jim O'Brien.
The school filed the appeal Friday with the 10th District Court
The Ohio Court of Claims ruled last month that Ohio State
improperly fired O'Brien in 2004 after learning that he had given
$6,000 to a recruit. The judge in the case said that O'Brien broke
NCAA bylaws but that the university did not follow the terms of
O'Brien's contract in terminating him.
Judge Joseph T. Clark said the contract that Ohio State lawyers
drew up to entice O'Brien to stay as coach was heavily weighted in
O'Brien's favor in case of any NCAA problems, requiring the
university to follow a lengthy investigative and disciplinary
procedure. He said it failed to follow that procedure.
O'Brien was awarded $2.2 million and more than $200,000 in
interest in early August.
No payment will be made by the university while the matter is in
the courts, said Ohio State spokesman Jim Lynch. The appeals
process could take several months or even a year, he said.
In its filing, the Ohio Attorney General's office, which
represents the university in such matters, said a prehearing
settlement conference would not be helpful.
No court date was set for the appeal.
A message seeking comment was left Saturday with Joseph Murray,
an attorney for O'Brien.