Team preview: Ohio State
Blue Ribbon Illustrated previews the 2004-05 college basketball season, exclusively on Insider.
Though the Buckeyes' first losing season since 1998 was a disappointment, Ohio State fans had no concept of how deeply troubled the program was until the morning of June 8. That's when OSU fired coach Jim O'Brien after his admission of giving a recruit $6,000 five years ago.
The announcement was stunning to almost everyone involved with college basketball. After all, this wasn't Jerry Tarkanian -- this was O'Brien, a head coach perceived to be rich with integrity, a man hired to clean up OSU's program after Randy Ayers' landed it on NCAA probation in 1997.