Players React To News On Clarett

Tailback's teammates now understand that his OSU career may be over.

During his press conference Tuesday, OSU coach Jim Tressel discussed the distinct possibility that troubled tailback Maurice Clarett will not play for the Buckeyes this year -- or ever.

Tressel said he has not been involved in discussions on Clarett's status since he acted a week ago to remove him from practice.

"I haven't spent any time on it, outside of a minute or two every day to pray for Maurice and his family," Tressel said.

Reporters got an opportunity to discuss Clarett's status with several of his former teammates after Tuesday's practice.

"There have been some conversations about it," said co-captain Will Smith. "We know Maurice is a tough kid and the things he is going through are tough for him.

"I mean, it's on ESPN every day. I know he is taking it hard. I know he wants to be out there like we are. He just has to fight through it.

"He wasn't with us all through camp so we've had to prepare without him. We just need to look toward N.C. State now."

Senior Robert Reynolds added his thoughts as well.

"I just wish the best for him," Reynolds said. "I hope everything works out for him. He has a lot he has to deal with right now. All of us wish him the best."

Co-captain Craig Krenzel said he is as in the dark as everybody else.

"I don't know what's going on with the whole situation," he said. "Coach Tressel and Mr. Geiger are in charge. I'm sure they will decide what is best for the football team and also what's best for Maurice's future."

Krenzel said he and his teammates are growing weary of the constant questions about their wayward teammate.

"We know it is something we're going to get every week (at interview sessions)," Krenzel said. "We'll hear about it until somebody says he's here or he's there or until we get a final decision on where he's going to be."

Tressel echoed the sentiments of basketball coach Jim O'Brien, who backed athletic director Andy Geiger earlier in the day.

"I think Andy makes it obvious to anyone who wants to talk about Ohio State athletics or coach any of these sports that there are certain things he holds above all else," Tressel said. "He discusses what we're going to do and who we are. As far as I'm concerned, he has done an extraordinary job."

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