Biancardi denies wrongdoing while at Ohio State

Updated: June 21, 2004, 12:03 AM ET
Associated Press

DAYTON, Ohio -- Wright State basketball coach Paul Biancardi strongly denied Sunday allegations that when he was an Ohio State assistant he arranged for payments to players, provided a woman with season tickets and asked her to introduce players to agents.

Kathleen Salyers sued two Ohio State boosters last year, claiming 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.

Biancardi is mentioned in the lawsuit, which led to the firing of coach Jim O'Brien earlier this month, as knowing about the assistance Salyers was giving to Savovic.

"These allegations are not true and are not supported by fact," Biancardi said in a 30-second statement he made at Wright State's home arena, the Ervin J. Nutter Center. "Because of the ongoing investigation, I cannot discuss the specific allegations that are made against me or the Ohio State men's basketball program.

"I look forward and I'm excited and anxious to answer all the questions and all the allegations that are made about me."

Biancardi did not take any questions. He was accompanied by his attorney, C. James Zeszutek of Pittsburgh, who also is representing O'Brien.

In a deposition, Salyers said Biancardi regularly contacted her about Savovic and often told her he was calling at O'Brien's instruction.

Salyers also said O'Brien was aware she had two of Savovic's grades changed at Biancardi's request.

"Once I told Paul the grade had been changed, he told me his boss would be happy," she said in the deposition.

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.


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press