• Follow us on Twitter @buckeyeplanet and @bp_recruiting, like us on Facebook! Enjoy a post or article, recommend it to others! BP is only as strong as its community, and we only promote by word of mouth, so share away!
  • Consider registering! Fewer and higher quality ads, no emails you don't want, access to all the forums, download game torrents, private messages, polls, Sportsbook, etc. Even if you just want to lurk, there are a lot of good reasons to register!

Smith pays Clarett's cell phone bill


Buckeye Beach Bum
OSU woes have familiar ring
Sources: QB got cash to pay Clarett charges
Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Bruce Hooley
Plain Dealer Reporter

Columbus- Ohio State quarterback Troy Smith accepted cash from an OSU booster last spring to pay overdue charges for a cellular telephone his mother obtained for former OSU tailback Maurice Clarett.

Multiple sources, both at OSU and close to Smith, confirmed that scenario, which led to Smith's suspension from the Alamo Bowl on Dec. 20.

Smith declined to comment Monday night, as did his mother, Tracy Smith.

Robert Q. Baker, the booster who gave Smith the undetermined amount of cash, did not return a telephone message left at his home in Springfield.

OSU Athletic Director Andy Geiger cited federal student privacy laws in declining comment on the specifics of the Smiths obtaining a cell phone for Clarett during the summer of 2003.

Geiger did, however, broadly discuss his frustration with Smith's actions, prompted by Clarett's request.

"It goes back to the mystery - and this is where we look weak - how do you know the unknowable?" Geiger said. "I don't know how to know if Student A arranges something for Student B and they do it in their private lives. It's very difficult to know that."

Clarett did not play at Ohio State in 2003 because of multiple NCAA rules violations, which included taking extra benefits from Robert Dellimuti, who runs a catering business in Warren.

One of those extra benefits was a cell phone Dellimuti provided Clarett, which investigations by OSU and the NCAA forced Clarett to forfeit.

Sources said Clarett then went to Smith and convinced him to obtain a cell phone through Smith's mother for Clarett's use.

Geiger said OSU investigated Clarett's use of multiple cell phones, but "we did not know anything about that particular cell phone."

Until his actions with Smith became known, Baker co-owned a luxury suite in Ohio Stadium and in the summer of 2003 employed former OSU All-American Chris Gamble at Poly-Care Services in Columbus.

Poly-Care has since bought Baker out of his share of the company.

An internal Poly-Care investigation of Baker's corporate conduct led to the company notifying OSU in early December of Smith's relationship with Baker.

Since then, Ohio State has declined to disclose the amount of cash Smith accepted or his motivation being rooted in paying off the cell phone obtained for Clarett.

"I think they just want the whole thing to go away," said Ted Ginn Sr., Smith's coach at Glenville High School. "It's been hard on Troy. He just wants to move on."

Ohio State coach Jim Tressel said he wished Smith had approached OSU officials before contacting Baker.

"I anguish over it for a couple of reasons," Tressel said. "Number one, there are right ways to handle all situations. Sometimes, you just have to swallow and come tell people 'I don't know the answer to this problem. Help me do the right thing.' "

Smith often has spoken of his friendship with Clarett, suggesting in late September that their relationship might have factored into Tressel's decision to play Justin Zwick as OSU's starter in the Buckeyes' first three games.

Monday, Geiger repeated his pre-Alamo Bowl assertion that Smith's suspension likely will stretch to include the 2005 season-opener against Miami of Ohio, and expressed regret over Smith not involving OSU when Clarett's cell phone bill became due.

"If a youngster is in financial trouble, we have funds and legal ways to assist them," Geiger said. "We have to get to the place where the people talking about [NCAA rules] compliance, [those] who wear the suits in administration, are not the people to watch out for. We're the people to seek out in times of stress.

"It is never OK to try to take a shortcut. Nine times out of 10, that gets found out."

To reach this Plain Dealer reporter:
So why did Smith get Clarett a cell phone? Whenever you get a cell phone in your name (although it was Smith's mother) for someone else, you are asking for trouble. You are legally responsible for that bill. I worked at Sprint for a long time and saw this scenario all the time, there is nothing you can do. They have to pay the bill.
Upvote 0
Damn that Maurice Clarret. Damn, Damn, Damn.

What school did he decide not to go to because he didn't like to fly? (SOrry it a little early for those memory banks to be working... ) Whoever it was.. they need to send us a Thank You Card.

For some reason... and I don't know why... he's starting to make me think he's the football player version of Veruca Salt from Charlie and the Chocoate Factory... At any rate... he's a bad egg.
Upvote 0
Call me whatever you like, but I like this better than I did before. I mean, don't get me wrong, this is still a colossal screw-up, but at least Smith wasn't just on this guy's payroll. I mean, he screwed up because of MoC by having his mother get the anal-licker a celly, and then he further screwed up by trying to get out of it the "easy" way. But it still makes me feel a little better knowing that Troy was trying to bail out his mother when he took the money from the booster.

Of course, I'd like to see MoC sink into a pit of acid 1/2 inch every hour, stopping at the waist, and then tying a leash around his neck to drag him around to recruits houses to show them what we do to assclown rule-breakers.
Upvote 0