Smith used money to keep cell phone

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 14, 2005

CLEVELAND (AP) - Suspended Ohio State quarterback Troy Smith used money he accepted from a booster to pay for a cell phone his mother obtained for former Buckeye tailback Maurice Clarett, a newspaper reported Tuesday.

The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer cites multiple sources at Ohio State and close to Smith in its report on the money Smith received from booster Robert Q. Baker.

Ohio State athletic director Andy Geiger told the newspaper that Ohio State investigated Clarett's use of multiple cell phones but ''we did not know anything about that particular cell phone.''

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Geiger said federal student privacy laws would prevent him from commenting on whether the Smiths got a cell phone for Clarett during the summer of 2003, after he'd been suspended from the team for a season.

Smith, his mother Tracy Smith, Clarett and Baker could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

A woman answering the phone at Smith's Cleveland home refused to comment and hung up without taking a message. Clarett's mother, Michelle Clarett, said she didn't know anything about the matter and didn't know how to reach her son. Baker has an unlisted phone in Springfield.

Clarett was suspended for the 2003 season after he was caught lying to university and NCAA investigators about accepting gifts and extra benefits. Among the benefits was a cell phone given to Clarett by Robert Dellimuti, who runs a catering business in Warren.

The Plain Dealer reported that when Clarett gave up that phone he persuaded Smith to get him a cell phone in his mother's name.

Ohio State has not said how much money Smith took from Baker.

Geiger said Monday that Smith's suspension probably will stretch into next season.