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Biancardi departs Wright State by 'mutual agreement'

FAIRBORN, Ohio -- Paul Biancardi stepped down as Wright
State's basketball coach Monday, three days after the NCAA barred
him from recruiting for violating rules when he was an assistant at Ohio State.

"Paul Biancardi will no longer be employed as head coach of
men's basketball at Wright State University," Wright State and
Biancardi said in a joint statement.

"As a result of the Ohio State University public infractions
report by the NCAA, Wright State University believes it is in
everyone's best interest for the coach to move on to other
opportunities."

A message seeking comment was left for Biancardi.

The NCAA found that Biancardi passed $6,000 from former Ohio
State coach Jim O'Brien to a recruit's family in 1999 and that both
coaches acted unethically by not reporting their conduct to the school.

In a ruling Friday, the NCAA prohibited Biancardi from
recruiting until Oct. 1, 2007, with the stipulation that if he did,
Wright State would face NCAA sanctions.

Biancardi, 43, was hired at Wright State in April 2003 and led
the Raiders to a 14-14 record in the Horizon League in his first
season. Wright State finished this season 13-15 and lost in the
first round of the conference tournament to Illinois-Chicago.

Wright State said a national search for a new coach will begin immediately.

Wright State was the first head coaching job for Biancardi. He
served as O'Brien's assistant for 13 years -- seven seasons at
Boston College and six at Ohio State, where he was the recruiting
coordinator. Biancardi also has held assistant coaching jobs at
Boston University, Suffolk and Salem State.

At Wright State, Biancardi replaced Ed Schilling, who was fired
after going 75-93 in six seasons with the Raiders.