Legal Action Against Boston College Resolved

(5-15-98) -- Father Dennis Yesalonia, SJ, general counsel for Boston College, today announced that the legal action recently filed against Boston College by Jim O'Brien, former men's head basketball coach, had been resolved.

He reported that the resolution came about after extensive discussions over the past week with representatives for Mr. O'Brien. Fr. Yesalonia emphasized that the discussions did not involve any negotiations relative to the financial claims asserted in Mr. O'Brien's lawsuit. At the suggestion of Mr. O'Brien, the disposition of the financial matters was resolved on the basis of what Boston College believed to be fair to both parties.

Upon learning about the resolution of the complaint, Jim O'Brien stated that the suit was never about race and was not intended to question the character or integrity of Undergraduate Admission Director John Mahoney Jr. or to suggest that Boston College was a racist institution. "The merits of this suit were about a breach of contract and slander. The facts set forth in the complaint were alleged in an effort to support those claims. I know that Boston College and John Mahoney are not racist, nor does the complaint allege that."

Father William P. Leahy, SJ, president of Boston College, acknowledged that Jim O'Brien is a man of passion and loyalty, qualities that he exhibited while at Boston College, where he devoted himself for 11 years to advancing its men's basketball program. "The circumstances of his departure were unfortunate and regrettable. Jim O'Brien loyally performed his duties while Head Coach of the men's basketball team, and he was not dismissed from his position."

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