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Quick Takes: $2.25 Million Judgment for Fired Coach, Flags vs. History, Loyola New Orleans Sues Insurer, NCAA Rule Breaking at Northern Illinois, MTV Buys College Paper Network, 'Gay Point Averages'

August 3, 2006
  • An Ohio judge on Wednesday ordered Ohio State University to pay $2.25 million in damages to its former men's basketball coach, Jim O'Brien, who the university fired in February for violating National Collegiate Athletic Association rules. The Court of Claims judge, Joseph T. Clark, had ruled in June that Ohio State fired O'Brien wrongfully, and in deciding how much the university should have to compensate O'Brien for the wrongful firing, Clark again made Ohio State pay a price for a contract that the judge describes as "extremely favorable to" O'Brien, but "not manifestly unconscionable." The judgment could be reduced during a trial later this month over the amount of supplemental compensation that the university overpaid to O'Brien in 2000 and 2002. Even so, the university's lawyer said in a statement Wednesday that Ohio State would appeal the judge's decision when it is final.
  • Arizona recently enacted a law requiring public colleges to have a United States flag in every classroom -- along with copies of the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Now the American Council of Trustees and Alumni is noting that while the state will require flags, none of its universities require students to actually study American history.
  • Loyola University New Orleans announced Wednesday that it is suing Continental Casualty Company for not paying on claims filed as a result of damage caused by Hurricane Katrina. The company is not commenting on the suit. Loyola says it made claims of $6 million in property damage and more than $22 million in revenue lost because it could not operate last fall. The university says it has received only $4 million. Loyola spent $200,000 to document the claims it filed with the insurance company.
  • The NCAA placed Northern Illinois University on a year's probation and barred a professor at the institution from serving as a mentor for athletes for two years after finding that the professor gave nearly $2,000 in improper benefits to a former female basketball player she was advising. The faculty member paid for airfare, other transportation and telephone calls and let the player live in her house for a month, violating the association's rules on the awarding of benefits that are not made available to other students.
  • MTV's college network has purchased the parent company of College Publisher, the largest network of online editions of college newspapers.
  • The Advocate has published a new college guide designed to focus on the 100 institutions with the best environments for gay students. Institutions were ranked on "gay point averages," based on various policies and the availability of programs. The guide includes a "top 20" list of the best institutions, in alphabetical order. They are: American, Duke, Indiana, Ohio State, New York, Pennsylvania State, Princeton, Stanford and Tufts Universities; Oberlin College; and the Universities of California at Berkeley, California at Los Angeles, California at Santa Cruz, Massachusetts at Amherst, Michigan, Minnesota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puget Sound, and Southern California.
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