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Aug. 22, 2003

COLUMBUS, Ohio: Ohio State Director of Athletics Andy Geiger said today that sophomore tailback Maurice Clarett would be allowed to resume practicing, possibly as early as Sunday, and would begin the process of being phased back into the football program.

However, Geiger said Clarett faces a multiple-game suspension and is not eligible to play in any games 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.”

Continued Geiger, “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.

“I talked with Coach (Jim) Tressel following my meeting with Maurice and he indicated he would welcome Maurice back on these terms.”

Quotes from Aug. 22 press conference regarding Clarett situation

Andy Geiger, Ohio State Athletics Director
On the process of the investigation and Ohio State’s response:
“The way the process works is we participate in an investigation process with the NCAA. They gather what they consider to be allegations then mail those to us. We have received that. We now begin to formulate our response and then we declare the student-athlete ineligible to play in games and apply for reinstatement for him. We work with the NCAA on a recommended penalty and then they respond on whether that penalty is adequate. If they don’t think so, they’ll change it.” On Maurice Clarett returning to practice:
“It was a decision that it’s time to bring him into the program. We have movement on the subject (of the investigation) and we think it’s best for Maurice to come in now. He has really expressed his desire to get back into the community and begin again. He was very intense about that today and it was my feeling that it would probably be best to get him started.”

Jim Tressel, Ohio State head football coach
On what he knows regarding the Maurice Clarett situation:
“From what I have gathered from Mr. (Andy) Geiger, he has information from the NCAA and he met with Maurice Clarett today. I had a chance to talk with Andy briefly and I had a chance to talk to Maurice briefly. I know that it (Clarett’s suspension) will be multiple games; I don’t know exactly how many. I also know Maurice is anxious to get back in the fold with his football family and he will begin doing that on Sunday.”

On Maurice getting back into practice:
“I am very satisfied. There is a process involved in everything and our people have done a great job of playing their roles. We have obviously been juggling a lot of things. But, I am excited to see his face and to see him smile a little bit.”

On not having a definitive word:
“I try not to spend a whole bunch of energy and frustration. Did I think it would be totally taken care of today? Not necessarily, but I am excited there is progress.”

On Tressel being involved in the decision:
“Andy Geiger involves a lot of people in decision-making in times when they can be. We have been going through 23 practices, some two-a-days, some one-a-days and a lot of film. Obviously we haven’t had the opportunity to be involved. I am sure in the next few days we will have a little bit more time. Quite honestly, when you get into game-week after your 100 hours of preparation for an opponent, there is not much time left. I am sure we will do whatever we need to.”