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Maurice Clarett's charges vs O-State

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Maurice Clarett's charges vs O-State

Geiger denies allegations against Tressel, staff
Posted: Tuesday November 9, 2004 1:59PM; Updated: Wednesday November 10, 2004 1:12AM

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Former Ohio State tailback Maurice Clarett accused coach Jim Tressel, his staff and school boosters of arranging for him to get passing grades, money for bogus summer jobs, thousands of dollars in cash and loaner cars. The school immediately labeled the charges as lies.

Most of Clarett's allegations, in an article by ESPN The Magazine, were covered as part of an NCAA probe that found Clarett lied to investigators, leading to his suspension from the team.

Ohio State athletic director Andy Geiger was not surprised by the accusations, saying Clarett had vowed to try to hurt the program.

"In moments of frustration during the investigation, [Maurice] might say something like, 'I can blow this whole program up,' or something like that, and so we would then say, 'OK, blow it up. Tell us what you know,"' Geiger said at Tressel's weekly news conference.

Clarett led the Buckeyes to the national championship in 2002, then was suspended by Ohio State and the NCAA for the 2003 season.

Clarett then challenged the NFL's rule preventing players from being in the draft less than three years after they graduate high school, winning an initial federal court ruling but losing several appeals.

Friends and family members say Clarett has been working out at an undisclosed location with a personal trainer in preparation for the 2005 NFL draft. He has not spoken publicly in months.

"I have had a chance to read the article, and the allegations as they were mentioned are, simply, untrue. Period," Tressel said.

According to the magazine article, Clarett said Tressel set him up with a loaner car.

Geiger said Tressel did try to help Clarett buy a car through the dealership that leases cars to several Ohio State coaches and administrators. But Clarett and his mother did not meet with the dealer to make arrangements to buy the car and the dealership came to Columbus several days later to repossess it.

Geiger said Tressel's actions did not break any NCAA rules, and that the coach had put other players in touch with the dealership.

Clarett also said members of Tressel's staff introduced him to boosters who slipped him thousands of dollars in cash – the better he played, the more cash he would receive.

"When you'd leave, [the booster] sets you straight," Clarett said in the article. "They say, 'You got any money in your pocket?' They make sure your money's straight."

Clarett said Tressel's brother Dick, a member of the Ohio State coaching staff, arranged to get Clarett a job working for a landscaper and was paid a lot even though he did not show up for work. He has also alleged that the football staff arranged an academic adviser who set him up with professors who would pass him even if he skipped class.

Former Ohio State linebacker Marco Cooper also told the magazine he also had bogus landscaping jobs, received furniture from a booster and borrowed cars from Columbus dealerships in exchange for signed OSU memorabilia.

Geiger said many of the allegations already had been found baseless through investigations by the NCAA and the university. He pointed out that Cooper had been kicked off the team for drug possession.

Clarett said he had taken "the fall" for Tressel and Ohio State when meeting with the NCAA investigators but was subsequently "blackballed" when he tried to return to school.

Geiger expressed faith in the Ohio State coaches, compliance officers and academic counselors.

"We don't duck. We're not afraid of what's coming. We're not afraid of what's here," Geiger said.

Messages seeking comment were left Tuesday at Clarett's mother's house in northeast Ohio and with his attorney.

Clarett said the main reason why he spoke with ESPN was because he wanted to "clear his name" with NFL owners and general managers.

Thom McDaniels, Clarett's high school coach in Warren, said Clarett will only hurt himself with his accusations.

"I don't know how his coming forth with these comments helps him with his stock in the NFL. I think behaving that way only hurts his reputation and his marketability," McDaniels said. "That is not honorable behavior. At this point, who knows if it's fact or fabrication."

Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved.
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Maurice Clarett's charges vs O-State

He just won't go away! The guy is a proven liar with his "stolen property value " case but this came up before and he denied some things. Now he's putting the pieces of the puzzle together. Why now? The AD keeps taking shots at him in the Columbus newspapers.
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Maurice Clarett's charges vs O-State

My take: OSU getting deeper and deeper. Clarett is probably licking his chops on this one too.

Plot thickens in Smith suspension
Report: Company attorney tipped OSU about executive's gifts to QB
Posted: Tuesday December 28, 2004 10:28AM; Updated: Tuesday December 28, 2004 10:28AM

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Ohio State athletic officials learned about quarterback Troy Smith's relationship with a Columbus businessman from the company's attorney, The Columbus Dispatch reported Tuesday.

That tip in a Dec. 9 phone call led to Smith's suspension from Wednesday's Alamo Bowl game for violating team and NCAA rules by accepting gifts from the booster.

The newspaper identified the booster as Robert Baker, 46, of Springfield, who watches football games from a 35-yard-line luxury suite in Ohio Stadium.

Geoffrey Webster, 56, an attorney for Poly-Care Services, a provider of health care products with headquarters in Columbus, confirmed for the newspaper on Monday that Baker gave Smith an unspecified amount of cash.

"It certainly had a smell to it," said Webster.

Baker, the former executive director of the Ohio Academy of Nursing Homes, helped found the company. He left Poly-Care about a month ago, a receptionist said Tuesday.

Baker, who is not an Ohio State graduate, did not return phone messages left by the Dispatch at his home. A home telephone listing for him could not be found on Tuesday.

Ohio State athletic director Andy Geiger declined to comment on the report, saying, "It's an ongoing investigation." Geiger has refused to identify the booster, saying he was following the university's longtime practice of protecting a booster's identity.

Smith has not commented on his suspension as part of an agreement with Ohio State.

As part of his responsibilities for Poly-Care, Webster handles employee code-of-conduct investigations. He was given incident reports from two employees who questioned Baker's relationship with Ohio State football players, the newspaper reported.

Webster, who is an Ohio State alumnus, told the newspaper he hopes the university takes away Baker's suite and football tickets. A telephone message was left at his Columbus office Tuesday.

The NCAA defers those decisions to individual schools unless there is a major infraction, spokesman Erik Christianson said. Geiger has called Smith's violation minor.

A message seeking comment was left with athletics spokesman Steve Snapp, in Texas for the bowl game.

"This whole thing has left a bad taste in my mouth," Webster said. "The university has to do something to get rid of this small group of boosters."

Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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Maurice Clarett's charges vs O-State

The guy pretty much ruined his career, which could have been a pretty good one in the NFL - I question the people behind the scenes giving him counsel - they are just as pathetic.

Just to think if he would have been honest right from the get go and took his punishment like a man - things could be a lot more rosy for him now. It come down to accountability and respect for the system that gave you a chance in the first place, yet he put himself above everything and everyone else - selfish little boy!!

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