Oden Set To Sign With Ohio St.

Despite recent signs of wavering, Lawrence North High School basketball star Greg Oden will sign with Ohio State during the early signing period that begins Wednesday, his summer coach said.

"They are going to sign," Mike Conley Sr., who has coached his son, Mike Conley Jr., and Oden in summer basketball since the seniors were in junior high, said Friday.

The 7-foot Oden, the national high school Player of the Year, and Conley Jr., one of the nation's top-ranked point guards, made oral commitments to Ohio State in June. But in early October they said they were considering waiting until the spring signing period before making it official because of the possibility of harsh penalties against Ohio State stemming from multiple violations. The full scope of penalties won't be known until an NCAA infractions committee meets Dec. 9-10.

Ohio State issued a self-imposed postseason ban last season for the violations that occurred under former coach Jim O'Brien, who was fired after the 2003-04 season. Because of that, it would take NCAA penalties that amount to a three-year postseason ban to affect Oden and Conley, who will be freshmen in 2006-07.

Ohio State coach Thad Matta and athletic director Gene Smith were hired after the violations occurred.

"We feel that the 2007 postseason won't be an issue, looking at previous (NCAA penalty) decisions," Conley Sr. said.

Oden could not be reached for comment.

The early signing period is Wednesday-Nov. 16. Players who don't sign then must wait until the spring signing period, April 12-May 17.