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Geiger believes Clarett will enroll

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ohio State athletic director Andy Geiger
said Saturday that he thinks Maurice Clarett still plans on
enrolling and attending class this fall.

"I have no indication of anything different," Geiger said
shortly before No. 3 Ohio State's 44-38 triple-overtime victory
over No. 24 North Carolina State.

On Wednesday, Clarett was suspended by Ohio State for at least
one season for violating NCAA bylaws concerning extra benefits for
athletes and for lying to investigators.

Ohio State submitted its response to the NCAA on Thursday to
several pages of allegations against Clarett, a sophomore tailback
who rushed for 1,237 yards and scored 18 touchdowns last season.

Still on the back burner is the probe of academic fraud
involving student-athletes. A 10-person Ohio State panel is
investigating charges that athletes received improper help in
classes.

Geiger said he wouldn't comment on how the academic panel is
progressing.

"What's happening when the door closes, and the kinds of
discussions they're having, I can't characterize them because
frankly I do not know," Geiger said.

Clarett was not on the Ohio State sideline on Saturday. It was
unknown if he attended the game.

Both Geiger and football coach Jim Tressel said earlier this
week that the NCAA had not uncovered anything that might have an
impact on Ohio State's national championship in football last
season. On Saturday, Geiger said the academic panel could yet
uncover things that might taint the Buckeyes' first title in 34
years.

"In the abstract, there's always a possibility they could find
wrongdoing, and if there's institutional culpability, then there's
an issue," Geiger said. "But I absolutely do not know."

Clarett, who must make restitution for "thousands of dollars"
he received in improper benefits, could have a portion of his
scholarship withheld to provide money for restitution, Geiger said.
Clarett could also come up with a payment plan.

Clarett's suspension is open-ended and will be reconsidered only
when Ohio State -- or, should he transfer, his new school -- applies
for his reinstatement.

Asked when Ohio State would make that request to the NCAA,
Geiger said, "We would communicate with the NCAA. We do this in
partnership. We're a member of the NCAA and our effort would always
to be open in that communication and to consult with them. We have
all the way along."