Dec. 31, 2002
Ohio State Director of Athletics Andy Geiger issued the following statement concerning the filing of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid Form (FAFFSA) by OSU freshman Maurice Clarett:
“It is absolutely essential that everyone understand the process involved with this form,” Geiger said.
“First and foremost, this is a federal document, not a university document.
“Each of our student-athletes at the time of their orientation is encouraged to complete this form. This can be done either online or by completing the necessary paper work.
“The document requires full financial disclosure of the parents’ or guardians’ income for the previous tax year. It must be filed annually and signed by the student-athlete and the parent or guardian.
“Once the document is filed, it is evaluated by the proper agency to make sure it has been properly completed. The institution is then notified that the student-athlete has a FAFFSA on file. That information is kept on file in the Financial Aid Office at Ohio State.
“As of Dec. 30, 2002, there was no FAFFSA on file for Maurice Clarett. Maurice may have begun the process but at the time we had to make the decision, there was no indication of a FAFFSA on file for Maurice in our Financial Aid Office. We were therefore compelled to follow the NCAA rules as they apply to the situation.
“We care deeply about all of our student-athletes and we did everything possible to assist Maurice Clarett in this time of his personal grief. Unfortunately given the circumstances, we had no choice other than to react in the manner in which we did.
“I cannot emphasize enough how important it is for our student-athletes to complete this form.”