Report: Clarett Could Be Done At OSU

Cleveland TV station says Maurice Clarett's OSU career could be finished and the school will not seek reinstatement. According to the station, Clarett allegedly received "thousands of dollars" of extra benefits.

If a report from a Cleveland television station is true, standout tailback Maurice Clarett's career at Ohio State could be over.

Cleveland's WJW-TV reported that OSU is close to finalizing its investigation into allegations that Clarett received extra benefits. The station says the university may not ask for the troubled tailback to be reinstated to the football program.

The station quoted sources close to the investigation who allege that OSU has discovered that the player may have received extra benefits worth several thousand dollars.

Those allegations, coupled with Clarett's apparent unwillingness to be forthcoming with investigators, may leave him on the outside looking in at Ohio State.

Plus, if the NCAA finds that Clarett received such benefits prior to the Fiesta Bowl -- in effect, making him ineligible to play in that game -- the Buckeyes could be forced to forfeit their national championship.

The Clarett saga has lingered for weeks. Initially, Clarett was held out of preseason camp, although coach Jim Tressel and athletic director Andy Geiger would not term it as a suspension.

Then, on Aug. 22, Geiger told reporters that Clarett faced a suspension of "multiple games," however he would be permitted to return to practice with the team.

That arrangement lasted one week as Clarett's behavior prior to and during the Aug. 30 season opener with Washington led Tressel to bar him from practice.

Things took a rancorous tone in the days that followed with Geiger and Clarett advisor Jim Brown, the former NFL running back, speaking publicly.

Now, as news leaks that Clarett could be eyeing a transfer to Division I-AA Grambling or even to hometown Youngstown State, it seems his OSU career, which seemed so promising at one point, will be history. Clarett may also opt to challenge the NFL's early entry draft rules in order to turn pro next season.

Perhaps Geiger or Tressel will shed light on the issue at the coach's weekly luncheon at noon on Tuesday.

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