Geiger Verbatim: AD Discusses Clarett's Status

At a press conference Tuesday night, OSU athletic director Andy Geiger addressed the Maurice Clarett situation, and things don't sound optimistic as far as the number of games he will play this year.

Here are some excerpts from OSU athletic director Andy Geiger's press conference with the media early Tuesday evening:

Q. Andy, where do things stand right now?

Andy Geiger: "We are very close to wrapping things up and hope in the next little time to get something out to Indianapolis (and the NCAA). We are still dealing with some issues and will be for a while. As to where this is headed, I am not optimistic about the number of games Maurice Clarett may be available to play this year.

"We are dealing with Bylaws 10 and 12 of the NCAA. Bylaw 10 deals with ethical conduct and Bylaw 12 is amateurism. In terms of Bylaw 10, we put great stock -- as does the NCAA -- in forthrightness and straightforward answers to questions that are bathed in truth. We have yet to get there, and that's distressing.

"It is far more in terms of the number of things we are pursuing than the police report and all the things people have focused on.

Q. Have you had problems getting straight answers from Maurice Clarett and his attorney?

Geiger: "I don't know that you need to include the attorney."

Q. Andy, does this mean you are looking at a full season missed for Maurice?

Geiger: "I am not optimistic that we can salvage very many games."

Q. How about for his career?

Geiger: "Oh, I don't know about that."

Q. What is Bylaw 12?

Geiger: "Bylaw 12 is amateurism. (Improper) benefits and those kind of things."

Q. Does this mean that there are so few games left this year that you don't think it would be worth bringing him back or you don't think you can salvage any games this year?

Geiger: "Oh, I don't know. We will see. I am not optimistic about any number of games at this point."

Q. Can you enlighten us Andy about what triggered the action today by Coach Tressel?

Geiger: "We're not finished with this report. We are having difficulty finishing the report and there are more issues to run down."

Q. He was able to practice during the process and now he is not ...

Geiger: "You've got that right."

Q. So what's the difference?

Geiger: "I just said it."

Q. The report is not finished. That is the difference?

Geiger: "We've got more issues to deal with."

Q. By taking him out of practice, will that make him more available to you?

Geiger: "I think he will have his scholarship. He will have an opportunity to go to school and I hope he will work with us at focusing on the issues that we're dealing with."

Q. This was not mitigation to limit any future penalty he might face ...

Geiger: "No. This was a team decision, a coaching decision."

Q. Was this based at all on any of his actions at the game or prior to the game, his interview with ESPN and some other things?

Geiger: "There were some disappointing aspects to Saturday. Those have been discussed with him."

Q. Are you frustrated by all of this?

Geiger: "No, I think this is great." (reporters laugh)

Q. Will he be allowed to be around the team at all?

Geiger: "I think this is a fair amount of separation. We'll have to let the days play out. We think this is the best thing for this football team. There are one hundred and some other guys and coaches that are involved in this program right now. And we're in the midst of playing games. We are really anxious to get this sort of thing behind us. He's not going to play football for Ohio State for the foreseeable future. We don't know how long that's going to be.

"We are dealing with somebody who is immensely talented in the game of football. We're not helping our program at all in terms of this. But we definitely believe in Bylaw 10 and think that ethical conduct is terribly important. We push the concept of integrity pretty hard. I think you saw our reaction to the academic allegations and how we pounced on that. This is not connected to that in any way."

Q. If Maurice had cooperated with this during the summer, would it have been over by now?

Geiger: "It might have been over in July."

Q. What happened in July and August because there seemed to be some indications that it was going to be over. Did the NCAA keep coming back with questions or did your people ...

Geiger: "Both."

Q. Bylaw 10 has a portion about evasiveness and another about untruthfulness. Are you dealing with one more than other?

Geiger: "The answer is yes."

Q. Andy, there comes a time or a deadline where you want right answers or else.

Geiger: "We're about there."

Q. But you are still going to make a recommendation to the NCAA about a specific number of games?

Geiger: "Probably, and we'll probably do that tomorrow."

Q. What has to rise to the level of costing a guy a whole year?

Geiger: "We look at case precedents, what has come down in the past on this. I hesitate to use this word, but the list is multiple. There's more than one."

Q. Have you reached a point where his lack of cooperation has made it less of an agenda item for Ohio State to get him back even for a game or two? Has he burned a bridge maybe?

Geiger: "I just think we have a ways to go in the concept of understanding the seriousness of it and the scope of it."

Q. Has there been any consideration to just cutting him loose?

Geiger: "No, no, no, no. This is not that kind of place. That's why his scholarship remains in effect. There may come a time where he is welcome back to practice. There may be some conditions where he can be back in the fold. There probably can't be anything done about the games. But it is possible that Coach may reconsider the position he is in."

Q. Has he been told to lay low? Is that what was so disappointing about Saturday?

Geiger: "I don't want to get into specifics about Saturday. There were a couple of things that happened that we thought were counter to what we thought it would be."

Q. He discussed at one point Andy that he wanted to be a part of the program …

Geiger: "I don't think there is any question about that. I think he wants to be out here playing and he is hurting. I understand that and I empathize with that. We're going to receive a great deal of criticism about that, and I understand that. I think we're standing tall and doing what we believe in and think is the right thing. For his protection, I'm not going to go into specifics. It's more than I have. He is struggling with this, and I understand that."

Q. The action today, was that a unilateral move by Coach Tressel?

Geiger: "We have spent a lot of time together over the last 48 hours. I don't tell the coach what to do or how to manage his team. But I was not surprised by what happened."

Q. How would you characterize his future right now?

Geiger: "In his hands. I don‘t know about this season, but beyond that."

Q. Bylaw 12 is almost like a can of worms. Is it about restitution? Is it about coming clean? Is it about where things came from?

Geiger: "All of the above."


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