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Clarett won#039;t practice until NCAA investigation is concluded

COLUMBUS - Ohio State tailback Maurice Clarett will be held out of preseason football practice until questions regarding his eligibility are settled, school officials said.

''Clarett will not participate in preseason football camp until, and unless, all issues related to his eligibility regarding his amateur status have been resolved,'' athletic director Andy Geiger and coach Jim Tressel said in a release issued late Wednesday.

The release also included an apology from Clarett in connection with events related to the theft of a car from the Woody Hayes Athletic Facility on April 17 and a statement from Clarett's attorney, Scott Schiff, saying that the car was a borrowed vehicle and that Clarett exaggerated the value of some items reported stolen from it.

The NCAA has investigated a police report filed by Clarett which said cash and thousands of dollars of stereo equipment owned by Clarett were stolen from the car he was driving.

''The NCAA knows all about this. The statement reflects what Maurice told the NCAA,'' Geiger said early Thursday.

In a statement released Wednesday night by Clarett's attorney Scott Schiff, Clarett admitted to giving false information in the police report.

In the release Schiff said Clarett used a borrowed vehicle to attend a morning workout on April 17, 2003 at the Woody Hayes Athletics Center and the vehicle was broken into sometime during his workout.

Upon learning of the break-in, Maurice filed a theft report with the OSU police.

''Many of the expensive items identified in the report did not belong to Maurice, but belonged to the vehicle owner,'' Schiff said in the release. ''Maurice did exaggerate and inflate the values he placed upon the reported items.''

Clarett said in the statement, ''I genuinely and sincerely apologize to my teammates and to The Ohio State University for any embarrassment this incident may have caused.''

A message seeking further comment was left Thursday morning with Schiff.