COLUMBUS (AP) – Ohio State running back Maurice Clarett, accused
of lying to NCAA and school investigators, will be suspended for
the entire season, his attorney said yesterday.
Scott Schiff said Ohio State will not take away Clarett’s
scholarship, but he might not stay at the school.
“He’s considering his options right now,” Schiff said.
Schiff, Clarett, and the player’s mother met yesterday with Ohio
State athletic director Andy Geiger.
Clarett missed the team’s first two games while the NCAA and
Ohio State investigated his finances. The defending national
champion Buckeyes are 2-0 without him, extending their winning
streak to 16 games.
Former NFL star Jim Brown confirmed the suspension and said he
had spoken to the Clarett family after the meeting with Geiger.
“It’s very difficult on them,” Brown said. “They’re torn between
so many emotions. Really, just trying to follow the process, do the
right thing and weigh their options.”
Ohio State has been working for more than two weeks on a
response to “several pages” of allegations sent by the NCAA to the
“This is the final punishment imposed by Ohio State for the
violations alleged by the NCAA,” Schiff said.
At the end of the suspension, Ohio State would need to petition
the NCAA for Clarett’s reinstatement.
If Clarett transfers, the NCAA requires the new school to
declare him ineligible, then seek his reinstatement through the
NCAA. He would have to sit out a year in addition to any suspension
or ineligibility handed down by the NCAA in order to play at
another Division I-A school.
Clarett could play immediately after he is reinstated in a
“The most important thing I think is that the inherent problem
with the NCAA procedures is the lack of due process and the lack of
any procedure for the student-athlete himself to appeal the NCAA
findings,” Schiff said.
Clarett set Ohio State freshman records last season with 1,237
rushing yards and 18 touchdowns.
His last carry for the Buckeyes ranks among the most memorable
in school history. He scored on a 5-yard run in the second overtime
to give Ohio State a 31-24 victory over Miami in the Fiesta Bowl
and its first national championship in 34 years.
After the meeting with Geiger, Michelle Clarett was asked if her
son was considering transferring to another school.
“Nothing has been decided if we go, if we stay, if we dance or
not,” she said. “So to ask that question and expect a
black-and-white answer, you cannot have one.”
Clarett could also try to go to the NFL and challenge the rule
that requires players to wait three years after high school to
enter the draft.
Geiger did not immediately return a phone message seeking
comment. He held a news conference later Wednesday.