COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Maurice Clarett was part of the Ohio State
football team once again Sunday but the Buckeyes still don't know
when their star running back will be eligible to play in a game.
Clarett was suspended for "multiple games'' on Friday for his
role in an exaggerated theft report but was allowed to return to
practice. Clarett had been held out of the team's first 23
preseason practices because of eligibility questions.
Clarett was involved in all team functions Sunday at the Woody
Hayes Athletic Center, athletic department spokesman Steve Snapp
"He attended orientation meetings this afternoon. He also met
with trainers and compliance people,'' Snapp said. "This evening
he will be involved in team meetings and film sessions following
the team meal. He will take his physical Monday morning.''
Clarett rushed for an Ohio State freshman record 1,237 yards
last season and scored the winning touchdown in the Fiesta Bowl
against Miami, giving the Buckeyes their first national
championship in 34 years.
The second-ranked Buckeyes will begin their title defense
without their best player when they open the season at home against
(No. 19 ESPN/USA Today, No. 17 AP) Washington on Saturday.
Ohio State coach Jim Tressel and athletic director Andy Geiger
both have declined to be specific when asked how long Clarett's
suspension would be.
Telephone messages were left seeking comment Sunday at the
Youngstown home of Clarett's mother and the office of his Columbus
attorney, Scott Schiff.
The university received several pages of allegations from the
NCAA against Clarett on Thursday and discussed them with the
sophomore and his lawyers on Friday during a nearly three-hour long
meeting at Ohio State's St. John Arena.
Geiger anticipated that he would send a response to the NCAA
allegations on Monday or Tuesday.
The NCAA and Ohio State had been investigating Clarett's
acknowledged overstatement of the value of items stolen in April
from a vehicle he borrowed from a local car dealership. In a police
report, he said he lost items totaling more than $10,000 when
thieves broke into the 2001 Chevrolet Monte Carlo.
The suspension was only for nonacademic allegations. A 10-person
university panel probing charges of academic fraud involving
Clarett is a completely separate investigation from that which led
to his suspension on Friday.