Courts asked to dismiss motions
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ohio State asked federal and state courts Friday to dismiss motions filed against the university by suspended tailback Maurice Clarett.
In a separate motion in municipal court, Clarett's attorney, Percy Squire, asked for an order preventing information obtained during an NCAA investigation from being used by prosecutors in a case charging Clarett with filing a false police report.
All three legal maneuvers tie into accusations that Clarett filed an exaggerated theft report with campus police in April after a car he was borrowing from a dealership was broken into. Clarett has pleaded innocent to one count of falsification, a misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Clarett's federal complaint, filed last week in Columbus, accuses Ohio State of releasing his "protected educational records" in violation of a 2000 court order.
The complaint seeks a fine against Ohio State of at least $2.5 million -- payable to Clarett -- and a court order preventing city prosecutors from using the information as evidence in the misdemeanor case.
Clarett also has filed a motion in Franklin County Common Pleas Court last month asking that his attorneys be allowed to take sworn statements from university officials about the charge he lied to police. The complaint says by withholding that information, Ohio State has subjected Clarett to prosecution in Franklin County Municipal Court.
In separate responses Friday, Ohio State lawyers said Clarett's federal case was "fundamentally flawed and fails on numerous legal bases," and called his state case "an unwarranted fishing expedition."
Ohio State lawyers said the information Clarett accused the university of releasing was not a "student disciplinary record," so his privacy rights were not violated, according to court documents.
Squire said the NCAA investigation of Clarett resulted in a "student educational record" that is protected under the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act.
Clarett is suspended for his sophomore season for accepting money from a family friend and lying about it to investigators. He is separately suing the NFL, asking a federal judge in New York to throw out a rule that prevents him from entering the draft until he has been out of high school for three years.
Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press
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