Jon Diebler

Jake Diebler Wanted To Hire Brother Jon, Ohio’s Nepotism Laws Said No

Jon Diebler is Ohio State’s all-time leader in three-pointers made. He is also the director of recruiting for the Butler men’s basketball team. Both of these things would seem to make him a viable candidate to come back to the Buckeyes in some type of capacity.

However, sources indicate to Buckeye Huddle that men’s basketball coach Jake Diebler was not permitted to hire his brother Jon to be part of his coaching staff.

So said the University’s legal and human resources departments, citing the state of Ohio’s nepotism laws.

The Ohio Ethics Commission explains it thusly.

Many families have a strong tradition of public service and it is common for two family members to serve the same public agency or municipality. However, the Ethics Law forbids public officials or employees from authorizing or using a public position to secure “public contracts” – including a public job – for a member of their family. Therefore, public officials and employees are prohibited from using their public position to directly hire, or to secure the hire, of a family member. In fact, in the state of Ohio, nepotism is a fourth degree felony.

Sources close to the basketball program have also confirmed this situation to Buckeye Huddle.

Jake Diebler wanted to hire Jon as his fifth assistant coach and one of his on-the-road recruiters. It would have been Jon’s first full-time job as an assistant, which may have been part of the problem. Had he been an established coach, perhaps the nepotism concerns could have been waved off.

But concerns over the nepotism laws didn’t stop former OSU football coach Urban Meyer from being allowed to employ his son-in-law Corey Dennis. Or former OSU football coach Jim Tressel from being allowed to employ his brother Dick Tressel.

In those instances, however, sources indicate that it wasn’t technically the head coach making the hires, but rather the assistant coaches and coordinators.

This can also work in the reverse, as head football coach Ryan Day is employing defensive line coach Larry Johnson’s son Tony as a “senior advisor/analyst.”

College sports have always been littered with family members on the same staff. It is one of the ways the industry stays as populated as it is.

There have been other attempted coaching hires in other sports at Ohio State that were shot down due to the nepotism laws, so Jon Diebler isn’t the first. He is perhaps the most famous, however.

Sources have indicated to Buckeye Huddle that both Diebler brothers are obviously frustrated by this ruling.

This ruling must be especially frustrating for Jake Diebler when you consider how effective former Buckeyes are when dealing with current and future Buckeyes. For instance, former Buckeyes have been a very integral part of Ryan Day’s staff.

Day has former Ohio State receiver Brian Hartline, former linebacker James Laurinaitis, and former cornerback Tim Walton on his coaching staff, and former safety CJ Barrett on the support staff side of things. They are all very effective at what they do.

Former men’s basketball coach Chris Holtmann employed former Buckeye centers Greg Oden and Terence Dials, which was okay because he was not related to either of them.

Maybe if Holtmann had also hired Jon Diebler, this wouldn’t have become an issue.

Jake Diebler is still planning on hiring a fifth assistant coach.

Jon Diebler, meanwhile, is still planning on being an assistant coach.

It just won’t be at the place where he created so many memories for so many people.

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