Report: Clarett handed multiple-game suspension

Updated: August 22, 2003, 4:21 PM ET

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Ohio State athletic director Andy Geiger on Friday confirmed a local television report that the Buckeyes will be without star running back Maurice Clarett for some time in their quest for a repeat national championship.

Citing a source, WBNS-10TV in Columbus, reported Friday that Clarett was given a "multiple-game suspension" by the NCAA, which was investigating allegations that he had received preferential academic treatment and improper gifts.

Clarett, who rushed for 1,237 yards as a true freshman despite missing multiple games with a shoulder injury en route to helping the Buckeyes win their first national title since 1968, admitted this summer that he had overstated in a police report the value of items that had been stolen out of a borrowed vehicle last spring.

Geiger said Clarett would be allowed to resume practicing, possibly as early as Sunday, even though he is not eligible to play at this time.

"We received a letter from the NCAA on Thursday with a list of allegations about Maurice," Geiger said. "I met with Maurice earlier this morning and went over those allegations with him. Our next step is to make a recommendation to the NCAA concerning the length of Maurice's suspension. Then we wait for their reply.

"Until then, Maurice will be allowed to practice, remain on scholarship and attend classes once school starts, but will not be allowed to play in games. We have no way of knowing how long this process will take, but it will be a multiple-game suspension."

The Buckeyes, who are trying to become the first repeat national champions since Nebraska in 1994-95, are ranked second in both the preseason media and coaches polls.

"I want to emphasize that throughout today's meeting, Maurice repeatedly stressed how much he wants to return to this team and rejoin his teammates," Geiger said. "I talked with Coach (Jim) Tressel following my meeting with Maurice and he indicated he would welcome Maurice back on these terms."

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