Clarett confident he'll be back with Buckeyes soon

Updated: August 12, 2003, 9:39 PM ET

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The committee investigating allegations of academic misconduct against Ohio State running back Maurice Clarett has turned some of its findings over to the NCAA.

"They're concerned and we're concerned and we're sharing information," Dr. Jane D. Case-Smith, a professor of medicine at the university, said in a phone interview Tuesday. "I think it makes sense. It's their issue as well as our issue."

NCAA spokeswoman Kay Hawes declined to comment.

Case-Smith said the investigation was in its early stages. She declined to talk about the committee's findings or when the investigation would wrap up.

"With these committees, we spend an awful lot of time collecting information and figuring out who we need to talk to," she said.

A 10-member university panel was formed last month to investigate allegations of academic misconduct in the football program and whether players have gotten preferential treatment in classes. A teaching assistant has claimed that Clarett walked out of a midterm exam last fall and later passed the course by taking an oral exam.

The NCAA began investigating Clarett for his use of a 2001 Chevrolet Monte Carlo that was broken into while on overnight loan from a car dealership. In a police report, Clarett said he had lost more than $6,000 in clothing, cash and stereo equipment in the theft. He later acknowledged that he had exaggerated his losses to police.

Clarett is being held out of practice with the defending national champions because of the investigations. He met for three hours Monday with Ohio State athletic director Andy Geiger and NCAA officials.

Geiger said Tuesday that Clarett hadn't been cleared to practice and declined to comment on whether the running back would return this week -- as Clarett had predicted Monday.

Geiger said he didn't know the details of the academic investigation.

"I haven't asked, and I don't want to know. It's essential that it be thorough, tough and independent," he said.

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index