Holding Fire

What does Ohio State have to say about Maurice Clarett's accusations that he received free use of cars, bogus grades, no-show jobs and cash from boosters during his controversial stay in Columbus?

Not much.

President Karen A. Holbrook, head coach Jim Tressel and assistant Dick Tressel refused comment through spokespersons, and AD Andy Geiger says he'd have no official response until the story appeared, if then. But Geiger did give a preview of the school's potential counterattack.

"He's ineligible because he declined to tell the truth 17 times during an investigation," Geiger says. "If you want to give him credibility when he's been unable to tell the truth under any circumstance since I've been around him, I'm not going to respond.

"Clarett vowed that he'd do something to try to get us, and this may be what it is. I hope you've checked the background of who you're dealing with."

Clarett's academic adviser and tutor also declined comment. The NCAA also refused comment, as did the owners of two auto dealerships-McDaniel Automotive in Marion, Ohio, and The Car Store in Columbus-accused of loaning cars to Clarett at Jim Tressel's request