Ohio State reportedly will not reinstate Clarett

Updated: September 9, 2003, 8:30 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

Maurice Clarett helped lead Ohio State to a national title last season. Apparently, he won't lead the Buckeyes to another one.

The university has finished its investigation into Clarett and will not seek reinstatement for the heralded running back, Cleveland television station WJW reported Monday night.

The station reported that Ohio State, while working on a response to NCAA allegations involving the sophomore, has uncovered evidence that Clarett received "extra benefits worth thousands of dollars."

Ohio State athletic director Andy Geiger did not contradict the television report when contacted by the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

"Anything they have is premature," Geiger told the newspaper. When asked to clarify, he replied: "We're not going to comment on any aspect of what we are into at this point."

Former NFL great Jim Brown, acting as an adviser to Clarett and his family, told ESPN on Monday night that he had not heard any reports out of Cleveland.

But last week during an interview on ESPN Radio's The Dan Patrick Show, Brown expressed doubts that Clarett would play this year and questioned Ohio State's approach.

"It doesn't look that way," he said. "I don't think that [Geiger] ... in his approach to this ... he's really made it difficult for anyone on this side of the coin to believe he's a just person trying to do the right thing. He has a different agenda and I don't know what it is."

Clarett, who set freshman rushing records last year and was the strongest candidate for the Heisman Trophy entering this season, has yet to play, nor has he been practicing while the school went through the investigation process.

If he does not return to Ohio State, Clarett could transfer to another school or attempt to turn pro by challenging the NFL's early entry rules.

One possible landing spot for Clarett could be Grambling, a Division I-AA school that would not require Clarett to sit out a transfer year.

"A lot of people would like to have Maurice Clarett," Grambling coach Doug Williams told ESPN The Magazine's Gene Wojciechowski. "I don't think a headache comes with the kid. He didn't shoot nobody. They didn't arrest him for drugs. He didn't rape nobody. Ain't no problem with the kid."

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