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Thursday, September 20, 2007
Ohio State Loses O'Brien Appeal

The 10th District Court of Appeals in Ohio today affirmed a decision of the Ohio Court of Claims back in February, 2006 in favor of former Ohio State men's basketball coach Jim O'Brien. In the months following the Court of Claims ruling, a jury awarded O'Brien $2.2 million plus interest, which I discussed back in August of 2006 here. As a result of the Court of Appeals decision today, OSU must now pay O'Brien more than $2.4 million for his wrongful firing back in 2004. OSU has 45 days to appeal to the Ohio Supreme Court, which can elect not to hear the appeal.



Thanks for the post. I have been fascinated by the case since the lower court made it ruling. It's a great in-class example of what may constitute a material breach and it shows that a party with leverage (in this case the coach) may negotiate a contract that gives him a great deal of protection, despite conduct that ultimately was deemed an NCAA violation.

I happen to agree with the ruling and affirmance. Ohio State wanted O'Brien enough to negotiate limited rights of termination, and it hurt then.

Blogger Mark Conrad -- 9/20/2007 10:18 PM  

"It's a great in-class example of what may constitute a material breach" This case is the 2nd or 3rd case we read in my sports law class this semester.

Blogger Scrumtrulescent -- 9/21/2007 2:12 AM  


I too agree with the decisions of the lower court and court of appeals. I have used the O'Brien decision in class as well. I also recommend reviewing the contract with the students in class because it serves as a great practical discussion in contract drafting regarding concepts of termination rights, liquidated damages, etc.

Blogger Rick Karcher -- 9/21/2007 10:28 AM  

Prof. Karcher,

Thanks for the update, I haven't heard anything about this case since our seminar class in 2006.

What do you think the chances of an appeal are here?

Blogger Jimmy H -- 9/21/2007 11:37 AM  

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