INDIANAPOLIS, March 10 (UPI) -- Ohio State has been placed on three years' probation by the NCAA, mostly for rule violations while Jim O'Brien was the Buckeyes' men's basketball coach.
The NCAA, in a release Friday, did not bar the Buckeyes' from post-season play, but ordered the school to repay funds received from the 1999-2002 NCAA men's basketball tournament. OSU Athletics Director Gene Smith told the Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch that amounted to nearly $800,000.
The school also had its on-campus visits for recruits cut from four to three next year. The school held the team out of post-season play last year as part of its internal investigation.
O'Brien was fired by Ohio State in June 2004 for giving the mother of a recruit $6,000. Also at issue was housing and benefits going to former player Boban Savovic, the Dispatch said.
"The $6,000 payment was a blatant violation," said committee vice chairwoman Josephine Potuto in a release by the NCAA. "The circumstances surrounding this violation are especially troubling because the former coaches concealed the cash payment from administrators at the institution for over five years."