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Ohio State's Clarett Faces Multi-Game Suspension

August 23, 2003|From Associated Press

Maurice Clarett was cleared to resume practicing with national champion Ohio State, but the standout tailback faces a multi-game suspension, the university said Friday.

The NCAA supplied Ohio State with a list of allegations against Clarett on Thursday. Members of the university discussed the allegations with the sophomore on Friday, Athletic Director Andy Geiger said.

The NCAA and university had been investigating allegations about Clarett's academic performance and the player's acknowledged overstatement of the value of items stolen from a vehicle he had borrowed.

The suspension handed down Friday was only for non-academic allegations. A 10-person university panel probing charges of academic fraud is completely separate from Clarett's open-ended suspension.

Clarett remains ineligible for games, but could rejoin practices as early as Sunday, Geiger said. Clarett would do so on Sunday, Coach Jim Tressel said.

"He said, 'Can I practice tomorrow [Saturday]?' and I said, 'Well, you'll be alone. I'm giving the guys the day off.' "

Tressel said he didn't know how long the suspension will be.

"Our next step is to make a recommendation to the NCAA concerning the length of Maurice's suspension," Geiger said. "Then, we wait for their reply. We have no way of knowing how long this process will take, but it will be a multiple-game suspension."

Kay Hawes, an NCAA spokeswoman, said the organization doesn't have the authority to suspend Clarett, and it is up to Ohio State to determine the player's eligibility.

Ohio State began an investigation after a New York Times article in which a former teaching assistant accused Clarett of receiving preferential treatment in class.

Norma C. McGill said Clarett walked out of a midterm exam last fall, but passed the class after professor Paulette Pierce gave him an oral exam.

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Kansas State, ranked seventh in the Associated Press preseason poll, is a 28-point favorite over rebuilding California tonight in the Black Coaches Assn. Classic at Arrowhead Stadium.

"Kansas State is one of the top teams in the country. That's what we aspire to," said California Coach Jeff Tedford, who lost 15 starters and 23 seniors from the team that finished 7-5 last season.

Kansas State is led by quarterback Ell Roberson and running back Darren Sproles, who helped the Wildcats to an 11-2 record last season. Roberson ran and passed for more than 1,000 yards each. Sproles set a school record with 1,465 yards rushing.

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Quarterback Timmy Chang will sit out Hawaii's season opener for violating an academic policy when he played in the inaugural Hawaii Bowl last Christmas Day, associate athletic director Tom Sadler announced.

The NCAA earlier reinstated Chang on the condition that he sit out the Aug. 30 game against Appalachian State at Aloha Stadium, Sadler said.

In March, the Western Athletic Conference publicly reprimanded Hawaii and fined the school $5,000 for failing to certify its players had completed the conference-required six credits during the fall term of 2002 before the bowl game.

The six-credit rule was adopted by the WAC in June 2002 and requires student athletes to pass a minimum of six credit hours in the semester that concludes immediately before the date of a postseason competition.

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Nebraska offensive lineman Junior Tagoa'i was dismissed from the team after he was sentenced to 21 days in jail for hitting his girlfriend while she was holding their infant child in April.

"I have met with Junior and have informed him that he will not be allowed to return to the team," Coach Frank Solich said after the afternoon court hearing where Tagoa'i was sentenced.

Tagoa'i, who will begin serving his sentence Tuesday, also was fined $500 for the assault on his girlfriend, and $350 after being found in contempt of court for making an obscene gesture in court at an earlier hearing.

Tagoa'i, a 6-foot-2, 300-pound senior from Hawaii, was listed No. 1 at right guard on the depth chart after spring practice.

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New Mexico kicker Katie Hnida alleges she was a target of sexual harassment in 1999 when she was on the team at Colorado.

"I was treated much more like a piece of meat there," she told the Albuquerque Tribune.

Hnida told the newspaper she was "called names that are not repeatable" many times during the 1999 season.

Hnida, 22, a senior, dressed but never got into a game during two seasons as a walk-on at Colorado.

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