Former Ohio State star Maurice Clarett accused Coach Jim Tressel, his staff and school boosters of arranging for him to get passing grades, cars and thousands of dollars, including money from bogus summer jobs. The school denied the claims yesterday.

Most of Clarett's charges, made in an interview with ESPN the Magazine, were addressed as part of an NCAA probe that found the running back lied to investigators, leading to his suspension from the team he helped win the 2002 national title.

Ohio State Athletic Director Andy Geiger was not surprised by the accusations, saying Clarett had vowed to try to hurt the program.

"In moments of frustration during the investigation, [Maurice] might say something like, 'I can blow this whole program up,' or something like that, and so we would then say, 'Okay, blow it up. Tell us what you know,'" Geiger said.

Friends and family members say Clarett has been working out with a personal trainer in preparation for the 2005 NFL draft. He has not spoken publicly in months.

"I have had a chance to read the article, and the allegations as they were mentioned are, simply, untrue. Period," Tressel said.

Messages seeking comment were left Tuesday at Clarett's mother's house in northeast Ohio and with his attorney.

In the article, Clarett says his main reason for speaking was to "clear his name" with NFL owners and general managers.

-- From News Services