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Robert Baker interviewed by NCAA

Discussion in 'Buckeye Football' started by ScarletInMyVeins, Jan 21, 2005.

  1. ScarletInMyVeins

    ScarletInMyVeins Tanned Fat Looks Better

    From NBC4i.com

    http://www.nbc4i.com/cfoot572/4115917/detail.html
    Booster Being Interviewed By NCAA Investigators

    Baker Being Stripped Of All Ties To Ohio State



    <TEXT id=txt_updated>UPDATED:</TEXT> 10:04 AM EST January 21, 2005


    <!--startindex-->COLUMBUS, Ohio -- NCAA investigators were in Columbus on Friday to interview Ohio State booster Robert Q. Baker about giving an unspecified amount of money to quarterback Troy Smith, athletic director Andy Geiger said.

    Smith was suspended after the NCAA rules violation became known. He sat out the Alamo Bowl and may have to miss next season's opener Sept. 3 against Miami of Ohio.

    The NCAA also is investigating allegations by former running back Maurice Clarett that coaches arranged for players to receive cash from boosters and players being paid for no-show jobs. <TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 align=right border=0><TBODY><TR><TD></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>

    Geiger, who is retiring on June 30, said he had no idea of the investigation's timetable.

    Geoffrey Webster, 56, an attorney for Poly-Care Services, a provider of health care products with headquarters in Columbus, said Baker helped give Smith money with the aid of a fellow Poly-Care worker, NBC 4 reported.

    Another employee filed a report about the exchange after overhearing a conversation following an alleged visit by Smith to the company, NBC 4 reported.

    Geiger has said Baker, of Springfield, is being stripped of all ties to the university, including losing his share of a suite on the 35-yard-line in Ohio Stadium and barring him from purchasing tickets or having any contact with the football program.

    Smith has said he would cooperate in the investigation.

    Watch NBC 4 and refresh nbc4i.com for continuing coverage.

    Previous Stories:
    <!--stopindex-->
    Copyright 2005 by nbc4i.com The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
     
  2. OSUBasketballJunkie

    OSUBasketballJunkie Never Forget 31-0

    I wonder how forthcoming Mr. Baker will be on this situation....he is not obligated to divulge anything to the NCAA.
     
  3. coxew

    coxew Newbie

    Let's all hope there is nothing more for him to divulge.
     
  4. sandgk

    sandgk Watson, Crick & A Twist

    As long as what he tells them is the truth ....
     
  5. LloydSev

    LloydSev DreamWeaver

    Agreed... you never know his mental situation right now... a disgruntled ex-booster being shunned now being interviewed by the NCAA... you never know what could come out of his mouth in a situation like this.
     
  6. Morty

    Morty Newbie

    Just saw a report on 10TV here in Columbus. Andy Geiger said Robert Baker was extremely forthcoming and even volunteered to answer more questions if necessary. Hopefully this means there is nothing else related to boosters.
     
  7. sandgk

    sandgk Watson, Crick & A Twist

    Morty:

    That means so much more coming from Geiger's lips than Baker's.

    Based on the above, I tend to believe that a chagrined Baker won't lie, nor will he concoct.

    Nor will he get back into his luxury box.
     
  8. Hard to predict how this "big ego" dope will react to questioning. Isn't he quoted by one of his company's employees as saying something like, "I own him," after giving Smith an envelope containing money?

    Sounds like Baker may be one of these, "I'm the king of the world" types.

    I guess my opinion is shaped by this very selfish ex-booster...where he put the Buckeye sports programs in jeopardy to satisfy some inner greed to appear high and mighty. Fuck him.
    I for one hope he has a lifetime ban from OSU sports...in any form.
     
  9. tsteele316

    tsteele316 Mr. Such and Such

    honestly, if you think about it, this guy is already on the shit list of most people in the state for further complicating osu's ncaa troubles. the last thing he is going to want to do is provide the testimony that justifies an ncaa sanction.

    i'm not saying he lied, just that he isnt going to exagerate any claims as a ploy to get back at osu for taking his box seats.

    instead of giving cash to players, he's going to have to use it to scalp tickets now.
     
  10. jackson

    jackson Newbie

    he definately is not interested in making anymore enemies in this town.
     
  11. Oh8ch

    Oh8ch Cognoscente of Omphaloskepsis Staff Member

    Geiger also said tonight that he did not see anything that pointed at instutional problems and did not see anything that warranted sanctions for the FB program. Geiger has always been a straight shooter in this regard and if that is what he said that is what he believes.

    He did qualify it that this could change if things 'evolved' beyond where they were now. That is not an implication of something sinister - simply a statement of obvious fact. It is also typical Geiger. He is not going to leave the door open for the media to hang him out to dry later - even if it means giving them a tidbit that they can twist into reason for concern.
     
  12. jlb1705

    jlb1705 hipster doofus Staff Member Bookie

    I hope there isn't, but I qualify that by saying that if there is anymore stuff, he needs to fess up, so everyone can clean this up and move forward.
     
  13. el mastiff

    el mastiff Freshman

    Today's article in Dispatch

    Booster talks with OSU, NCAA
    Baker’s attorney, other parties keep quiet about details
    Saturday, January 22, 2005
    Tim May
    THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH
    <!--PHOTOS--><TABLE class=phototableright align=right border=0><!-- begin large ad code --><TBODY><TR><TD id=story-ad>[​IMG]<SCRIPT language=JavaScript1.1 src="http://adsrv.dispatch.com/RealMedia/ads/adstream_jx.ads/www.dispatch.com/osufootball@Position1" type=text/javascript></SCRIPT> [​IMG] <NOSCRIPT> [​IMG]</NOSCRIPT>[​IMG]</TD></TR><TR><TD align=middle>[​IMG]</IMG> </TD></TR><TR><TD class=cutline width=200>Robert Q. Baker </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>





    Ohio State athletics department officials and NCAA investigators met for the first time yesterday with Robert Q. Baker, the booster who gave cash to quarterback Troy Smith. But it was no verbal slugfest or inquisition, according to Baker’s attorney.

    "It was very conversational . . . a very collegial, cordial sort of meeting," attorney Jim Savage said after the 90-minute session in the Schottenstein Center.

    Ohio State suspended Smith, who started five games, in December for the Alamo Bowl, and he likely will miss at least the first game of next season. He admitted he took cash last spring from Baker, a Springfield resident. Sources have said part of the money was used to pay a cell phone bill run up by former OSU running back Maurice Clarett on a Smith family account.

    Neither Ohio State officials, led by Athletics Director Andy Geiger, nor Savage would go into detail about the session, or whether it was enlightening or fruitful.

    "I can’t characterize it in any way," Geiger said. "It’s an ongoing investigation."

    Savage said Baker wants to speak only with Ohio State and NCAA officials at the moment, and not the media.

    It’s believed the university wanted to know about Baker’s involvement with Smith as well as his relationship with former Ohio State defensive back Chris Gamble, who worked for Baker’s former company PolyCare Services during his OSU off-seasons.

    Like Clarett, Gamble was a star on the Buckeyes’ 2002 national championship team. He now plays in the NFL.

    Asked whether he thought the football program might be in any kind of jeopardy based on Baker’s relationship with Gamble, Geiger said, "Not at this point."

    Investigators likely also asked Baker about his relationship with coach Jim Tressel, his staff and the athletics department. Baker played football for Tressel’s father, Lee, at Baldwin-Wallace, and had a luxury suite at Ohio Stadium.

    An NCAA investigation is not a court of law, but in that vernacular, Savage was asked whether Baker considered himself not guilty.

    "He wants to answer whatever questions they have so they can put it behind them," Savage said. "Now, that doesn’t suggest anything about what needs to be put behind them."

    There has been speculation that Baker could be told by the university that, as a penalty, he will be prohibited from any involvement in Ohio State athletics for a period.

    "He didn’t ask about that, and they didn’t bring it up, and it wasn’t discussed at all," Savage said. In the meantime, Geiger said OSU already has petitioned the NCAA for the reinstatement of Smith’s eligibility.
     
  14. ohiobuck94

    ohiobuck94 Buckeye Beach Bum

    Another article in Springfield News.

    Baker meets with OSU, NCAA officials

    Robert Q. Baker of Springfield met with Ohio State athletics director Andy Geiger and NCAA officials on campus Friday morning to discuss his involvement with suspended quarterback Troy Smith.

    Ohio State requested the meeting, Geiger said.

    Baker, 46, is the booster accused of giving Smith an undisclosed amount of money sometime last spring. Geiger suspended Smith on Dec. 20 after Geoffrey Webster, Baker’s former attorney, contacted the university on Dec. 9 to inform them of an NCAA violation.

    Baker said he cleared up inaccuracies reported in the press and by Webster, his personal civil litigator for more than a decade, during the meeting. He still would not admit or deny he gave Smith cash.

    “Whether or not I am the fall guy, those are things I cannot control,” Baker said. “I don’t want to hurt Jim Tressel or Ohio State. He had nothing to do with this, nothing.”

    The meeting took place at 9:10 a.m. on OSU’s campus. Two officials from the NCAA, Geiger, university compliance director Heather Lyke and another OSU official were in the room, according to Baker.

    All five people sat opposite of Baker and asked questions surrounding the Smith suspension for about two hours, according to Baker’s attorney, Jim Savage. Smith was suspended for the Alamo Bowl and is ineligible for the opener on Sept. 3 against Miami University, according to Geiger.

    All described the encounter as “cordial.”

    “We requested the interview,” Geiger

    said. “That was the first time I met him. We asked a bunch of questions that we had. It was a cordial meeting.”

    It is the second time in two months the NCAA was on Ohio State’s campus to investigate alleged violations. Investigators were in Columbus in December to interview Tressel and others about allegations made by Maurice Clarett in an ESPN The Magazine article.

    Baker said Lyke contacted him a few days ago and requested he talk with university officials about his involvement with Smith. Ohio State also invited the NCAA to attend the meeting.

    “I don’t know what they know,” Baker said. “Every question they asked me I answered it fully. I apologized if I had done anything wrong. I apologized to Andy Geiger and to any and all Ohio State fans.

    Baker added that he is not a racist and never made the statement “I own him” as alleged by Webster.

    “I emphatically, categorically deny the racist implications that ‘I own’ Troy Smith,” Baker said. “I never said that. ‘No strings attached,’ I never said that at all. It’s poppycock.”

    Baker also denied that he knew Maurice Clarett or that Smith gave Clarett money given to him by Baker to pay a cell phone bill as earlier reported.

    “I never met Maurice Clarett. I never cared to meet Maurice Clarett,” Baker said. “What Troy Smith did with his monies I have no control over.”

    Geiger would not go into specifics as to what information the university was seeking from Baker. Geiger has said Baker will be sanctioned by the university for violating proper booster conduct, meaning he could lose his suite on the 35-yard line in Ohio Stadium. Savage said the sanction issue was not discussed during the meeting.

    Baker said he will continue to cooperate with Ohio State’s investigation.

    “Most of this was skewed by my personal civil litigator of over a decade,” said Baker, of Webster, whom he had a falling out with last summer. “I’ve put it behind me. All I have is the future. These aren’t things I can control. I’ve got a family and wife to take care of.”

    Geiger said no second meeting has been scheduled with Baker and gave no timetable as to the investigation’s end. He said he and NCAA officials talked after Baker left to discuss what was discovered during the meeting, but he wouldn’t provide any details.

    NCAA spokesman Kent Barrett said he would not comment on the Baker situation but said any meeting between a booster, the university and the NCAA is strictly a voluntary effort.

    “It says in the bylaws that the institution must respond to inquiries made by the NCAA, not anyone else,” Barrett said. “A booster is a private citizen. We can’t force anyone to do anything they don’t want to do.

    “We are free to request that boosters work with us. We don’t have any legal ability to force someone to be there.”

    Reach Lucas Sullivan at

    lsullivan@coxohio.com
     
  15. Oh8ch

    Oh8ch Cognoscente of Omphaloskepsis Staff Member

    Even if there is more stuff it should not be a problem for OSU with NCAA. OSU has conducted an investigation and tried to get to the bottom of the issue. They have involved the NCAA. If Baker did more and is lying about it now that is Baker's issue - not OSUs. There is simply nothing more you can reasonably ask the university to do.

    Of course, that wouldn't keep ESPiN from having a field day with it.

    BTW - At last nights OSU Hockey game they made a PA announcement about what fans can and cannot do in relation to recruits during visits (I think that was the gist - I wasn't really listening at first but the term 'compliance' was used a few times). I had never heard anything similar. It sounds like OSU is starting an educational program as part of their proactive approach to address these issues. Whether it works or not isn't the issue. It is evidence that OSU is taking proactive steps to address compliance.
     

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