COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -The NCAA on Wednesday reduced former Ohio State basketball coach Jim O'Brien's five-year suspension to two years, limiting his ability to seek athletic employment at another NCAA school during that time.
The reduction follows the NCAA's decision last month to throw out violations that included accusations O'Brien improperly gave $6,000 to a recruit. The group dismissed three violations and part of a fourth because NCAA enforcement staff missed by two days a 2005 deadline for filing the charges.
The appeals committee upheld other violations involving O'Brien, including improper benefits awarded to Boban Savovic, a member of the Buckeyes' Final Four team in 1999.
Ohio State has said his firing in 2004 after he revealed the loan to the recruit was valid because O'Brien violated his contract.
O'Brien still could seek work as a university basketball coach during the suspension, which lasts until May 8, 2009. But he would first have to appear before the committee ``to consider whether the coach's athletically related duties should be limited,'' an NCAA statement said.
O'Brien also can appeal the suspension to the NCAA's appeals committee. Messages seeking comment from O'Brien's attorneys were not immediately returned.

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