'Strain' includes threatening calls, slashed tires

Updated: June 16, 2004, 1:19 AM ET
Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The woman whose lawsuit led to the firing of basketball coach Jim O'Brien received threatening phone calls and had her tires slashed, her lawyer said Tuesday.

"This entire ordeal has been a tremendous strain on her," attorney Jeffrey Lucas said.

Kathleen Salyers sued two Ohio State boosters last year, testifying in an April deposition that she never received the $1,000 per month plus expenses she had been promised for housing Boban Savovic, a player on the Buckeyes' Final Four team in 1998-99.

Salyers sued Savovic's sponsors, Dan and Kim Roslovic, seeking $510,000 in expenses and damages.

Salyers was the Roslovics' nanny and housekeeper when she agreed to take in Savovic, Lucas said. There was no written contract outlining the agreement.

"She's their nanny, she's not a business person," Lucas said.

Ohio State fired O'Brien on June 8 after he admitted he gave $6,000 in 1999 to Aleksandar Radojevic, a recruit who never attended Ohio State because he was ruled ineligible after the NCAA found out he had been paid to play in Europe.

Ohio State athletic director Andy Geiger learned of the payment to Radojevic because it was mentioned in Salyers' statement in her lawsuit.

NCAA rules prohibit student athletes from receiving any financial help from anyone other than family members.

Salyers didn't appear at the news conference Tuesday. She is scheduled to meet next week with the university's lawyers and NCAA investigators, Lucas said.

Ohio State athletic department spokesman Steve Snapp and NCAA spokeswoman Kay Hawes said they could not comment. Hawes said last week that the NCAA is investigating O'Brien and the Ohio State basketball program. O'Brien's attorney, Jim Zeszutek, said he has not been asked to attend next week's meeting.

The Roslovics, since divorced, had befriended Savovic when he came to Columbus. Savovic, from what used to be Yugoslavia, was not a U.S. citizen and required someone to vouch for him in this country.

Dan Roslovic's attorney, Kris Dawley, issued a statement Tuesday saying all of Salyers' claims are false. Kim Roslovic's attorney did not return a call seeking comment Tuesday.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press