Ohio State appeals $2.4 million award to O'Brien

Updated: September 16, 2006, 6:45 PM ET
Associated Press

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 of Appeals.

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.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press

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