Ex-coach Molinari questioned by FBI

By Wes Swietek

Former NIU men’s basketball head coach Jim Molinari has been interviewed by FBI agents about his relationship—during the time he was a DePaul assistant coach—with a Chicago banking official, currently in jail for bank fraud.

Molinari acknowledged that Jeffrey Tassani, a former executive with First Chicago Corp., provided a truck and workers to help Molinari move to a new home in the late 1980s.

Allegations arose that First Chicago Corp., through Tassani, provided DePaul players with rent-free apartments. Molinari and DePaul officials said they had no knowledge of NCAA violations.

Great Midwest Conference Commissioner Mike Slive told the Chicago Tribune that he didn’t think Molinari violated NCAA rules. “In my opinion, if (a booster) assists in a move … it’s not a violation,” Slive told the Tribune.

After leaving DePaul, Molinari was NIU’s head coach during the 1989-90 and 90-91 seasons and is currently in his first year at Bradley.