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Newz Forum: FOOTBALL: Report: Three former OSU players back Clarett's allegations

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posted on Nov, 26 2004 @ 12:32 PM
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Three former Ohio State football players backed up some of Maurice Clarett's allegations that players received improper benefits while on the team, a sports website reported Wednesday night.
 

Carolina Panthers wide receiver Drew Carter, former OSU linebacker Fred Pagac Jr. and former Buckeyes fullback Jack Tucker said in a story posted on the website that they knew of tutors who completed homework for players. Carter said he was overpaid for working odd jobs.

Ohio State athletic director Andy Geiger and sports information director Steve Snapp did not immediately return messages left by the Associated Press late Wednesday night.

But Snapp told the website he thought the story was "another example of selective journalism on part and an attempt to run an unbalanced story."

Pagac's father, Fred Sr., was an assistant coach at Ohio State for 19 years. Tucker was an Academic All-Big Ten pick.


Maurice Clarett's accusations stir up more trouble for Ohio State.(Getty Images)
"There are always people who will help you and cross the line," Pagac was quoted as saying in the report. "I've personally seen it happen. You had tutors who if you asked them for help writing a paper they'd end up writing it. You'd go in and ask help about specifics, and then it would end up getting written."

Carter told a sports website that he "got paid quite a bit of money for sweeping, cleaning up stuff, doing like very, very light work."

In an interview with a sports magazine earlier this month, Clarett 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.

The school denied the claims, and some former players told it they never saw any wrongdoing in the Ohio State program. Carter, Pagac and Tucker told the website they didn't believe Tressel set up Clarett with vehicles.

Clarett led Ohio State to the national championship in 2002 as a freshman. But he then was suspended for lying to investigators during an NCAA probe of allegations that he received improper benefits from a family friend.

source

CBS




posted on Nov, 26 2004 @ 12:47 PM
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This will most likely be a long, nasty, drawn-out investigation and with all these other former players speaking out, it sure makes you wonder.



posted on Nov, 26 2004 @ 01:31 PM
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Yeah, it'll get ugly. The NCAA should do spot checks on acertain percentage of schools every year to check for violations.



posted on Nov, 26 2004 @ 03:34 PM
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AD says university did nothing wrong

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Claims by more former Ohio State football players that tutors wrote papers for them and fans arranged easy jobs don't indicate NCAA violations because the university didn't sanction or arrange the help, an athletics department spokesman said Friday.

The son of a former Buckeyes assistant coach, an Academic All-Big Ten selection and a current NFL player spoke to ESPN about tutors doing classwork for members of the team and of a booster culture that spawned "$100 handshakes" and high-paying, low-effort summer jobs.

Ohio State athletic director Andy Geiger told the Cleveland Plain Dealer that he is not concerned by the latest allegations.

"If these guys cheated, then that's an issue for internal review within the university," Geiger said in an interview Thursday night. "... I read the story [story that first appeared Wednesday on ESPN.com] carefully. There was not a single allegation of wrongdoing on the part of the university, that I saw."

Former Buckeyes linebacker Fred Pagac Jr., whose father Fred Sr. was an assistant coach at Ohio State for 19 years, told ESPN, "There are always people who will help you and cross the line. I've personally seen it happen. You had tutors who if you asked them for help writing a paper they'd end up writing it. You'd go in and ask help about specifics, and then it would end up getting written."

Jack Tucker, an Academic All-Big Ten selection at fullback, also believes tutors complete homework for football players. "Absolutely," he says. "For someone to think it doesn't [happen], they're crazy."

Former wide receiver Drew Carter, now with the Carolina Panthers, describes a culture in which football players would find a "hook-up" -- a tutor who does their homework for them or a booster who provides an easy, high-paying job -- and pass the information to their teammates. "Someone would be like, 'Man I got a paper due' and teammates would be like, 'Go to this guy,' " Carter says. "He'd write out a rough draft and say, 'Here, do it for yourself.' "

Geiger, however, told the Plain Dealer that his review of the claims showed no wrongdoing by the university.

"There certainly is no allegation that any of whatever they claim they did or was done for others was arranged by us," Geiger told the newspaper. "I didn't see anything to worry about."

Geiger previously described previous players who backed Clarett's allegations as "colossal failures."

That statement, in part, motivated Carter to speak out.

"That's why Ohio State is being afraid -- because if other people, legit people, like Freddie and Jack and myself, say stuff, then they'll be like, 'Oh no.' "



posted on Nov, 26 2004 @ 03:39 PM
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Sources: NCAA interested in talking to Clarett

The NCAA is now interested in talking with former Ohio State running back Maurice Clarett about possible improprieties surrounding the Buckeyes football program, ESPN has learned.

It remains unclear whether the NCAA, which visited Columbus on Nov. 15, will convene a new investigation into academic fraud and booster misconduct after Clarett implicated the school during an interview published in ESPN The Magazine earlier this month.

Buckeyes coach Jim Tressel and athletic director Andy Geiger have dismissed Clarett's charges during recent media gatherings, but new sources from within the program have told ESPN they believe Clarett, and the NCAA has reason to listen to the allegations.

Three former Ohio State players -- the son of a former Buckeyes assistant coach, an Academic All-Big Ten selection and a current NFL player -- spoke about tutors doing classwork for members of the football team and of a booster culture that spawned "$100 handshakes" and high-paying, low-effort summer jobs.

Former Buckeyes linebacker Fred Pagac Jr., whose father Fred Sr. was an assistant coach at Ohio State for 19 years, says, "There are always people who will help you and cross the line. I've personally seen it happen. You had tutors who if you asked them for help writing a paper they'd end up writing it. You'd go in and ask help about specifics, and then it would end up getting written."

Jack Tucker, an Academic All-Big Ten selection at fullback, also believes tutors complete homework for football players. "Absolutely," he says. "For someone to think it doesn't [happen], they're crazy."

Carolina Panthers wide receiver Drew Carter describes a culture in which football players would find a "hookup" -- a tutor who does their homework for them or a booster who provides an easy, high-paying job -- and pass the information to their teammates. "Someone would be like, 'Man I got a paper due' and teammates would be like, 'Go to this guy,' " Carter says. "He'd write out a rough draft and say, 'Here, do it for yourself.' "

Though a number of other former players have told ESPN they never saw any wrongdoing in Columbus, Carter says it was common knowledge which tutors would do other people's work. "Yeah, the hookup," he says. "When you find that hookup, gotta help your teammates by letting them know about it."

Carter says "hook-ups" were also responsible for finding players cushy summer jobs. "A fan or an [alumnus], that's the hook-up. You go up to the guy through a friend; you don't even know him. It wasn't like, 'Oh, I need an easy job this summer, Coach.' Not like that at all. Somebody on the team has a job and you ask them, 'Is it hard?' And they say no and you say, 'OK, I'm gonna try and get on it.' "

Carter did odd jobs when he was at Columbus for which he says he was paid up to $20 an hour. "You get a paycheck, $1,000 or something like that. It wasn't under the table; my job had my Social Security number and everything. But you still got paid quite a bit of money for sweeping, cleaning up stuff, doing like very, very light work. What you would call nonstrenuous work."

Clarett said he received money "in the thousands" from boosters after posting big rushing totals in games. On the subject of fans and boosters offering "$100 handshakes," Tucker responds as if it were common knowledge. "Yeah, I believe that happens," he says. "I mean, tell me something I don't already know."

Carter, Pagac and Tucker do not believe Tressel set up Clarett with vehicles. But Carter says it should have been obvious to the administration that Clarett was driving expensive cars. It was certainly a popular subject of conversation among players.

"I don't know how he got those cars, but he had them," Carter says. "It was blatant. I'd see him changing cars like every couple of weeks and it was like, damn. I don't know how the coaches could not have seen it."

Asked for a response, Steve Snapp, Ohio State's associate athletics director of communications, said: "In my opinion it's another example of selective journalism on [ESPN's] part and and an attempt to run an unbalanced story."

Last week Geiger criticized Clarett and the players who have backed his claims as "colossal failures."

Carter is offended by Geiger's statement and hopes he, along with Tucker and Pagac, will lend credibility to his former teammates. "Those are good guys who made some mistakes," he says, "but I don't think they're colossal failures. They're my friends, we went through it all together. If guys like Freddie and Jack and me went through it and didn't get in trouble and did everything right, but still, you know, got some perks because of it, are you gonna call us colossal failures, too?

"That's why Ohio State is being afraid -- because if other people, legit people, like Freddie and Jack and myself, say stuff, then they'll be like, 'Oh no.' "




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