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Newz Forum: FOOTBALL: COLLEGE: NCAA to make campus visit to Ohio State Monday

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posted on Nov, 14 2004 @ 12:05 PM
By invitation from Ohio State, the NCAA will have a representative on campus Monday to investigate allegations of improper benefits from Maurice Clarett and other former players, athletic director Andy Geiger said Saturday.

Clarett has accused coach Jim Tressel, his staff and school boosters of arranging for him to get passing grades, cars and thousands of dollars, including for bogus summer jobs. His claims, reported Tuesday by ESPN The Magazine on, have been corroborated by former Buckeyes players Marco Cooper, Curtis Crosby and B.J. Barre.

The university has denied the allegations.

"I hope there is the most thorough investigation in the history of intercollegiate athletics, because this is so bogus I can't even characterize it," Geiger told reporters during the Ohio State-Purdue game in West Lafayette, Ind.

"We welcome [the NCAA]. We invited them. We asked them to, please, participate."

Most of Clarett's charges were addressed as part of an NCAA probe that found the star running back -- a freshman at that time -- lied to investigators, leading to his suspension from the team he helped win the 2002 national championship.

Geiger said Tuesday that the NCAA investigated those charges in the summer of 2003, when Clarett misled investigators 17 times. His playing eligibility was then revoked.

Clarett also has charged that boosters provided him with cash during the national championship season and that tutors did classwork for him.

Cooper, a former Buckeyes linebacker, also told ESPN The Magazine he had bogus landscaping jobs, received furniture from a booster and borrowed cars from Columbus dealerships in exchange for signed Ohio State memorabilia. He was kicked off the team for drug possession.

Clarett told the magazine he took "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 coaching staff, 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.

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




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