Ohio State Excuses Chattams From Team

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel said Tuesday that wide receiver Angelo Chattams had been excused from the team to confront a legal problem in his hometown of Dayton.

Tressel did not elaborate on why Chattams was allowed to go home.

Ohio State spokesman Steve Snapp said Wednesday that Tressel would most likely have an update on Chattams' status after the Buckeyes' practice on Thursday afternoon. Snapp said there was nothing new to report on Wednesday morning.

A complaint was filed against Chattams on Aug. 12 alleging he was involved in a theft of property valued at $500 or more. The complaint is on file in the Montgomery County Clerk of Courts, but no charges had been filed against him as of late Tuesday. The complaint has not been presented to a grand jury for consideration.

West Carrollton police Chief Richard Barnhart said Tuesday that Chattams is under investigation for theft involving a set of golf clubs stolen July 29 from a parked sports utility vehicle.

Tressel said Chattams had to deal with an incident that happened in July but said he knew no further details. Tressel said he was awaiting a phone call from Chattams that might clarify the situation.

"The only thing I know is, we had him go home to find out a little bit of what the situation is so that we can respond to it," he said.

Tressel said Chattams told him, "that there may be something he had to take care of." He said no further decisions would be made regarding Chattams' status on the team until more information was known.

Tressel called the departure a "distraction" but said the Buckeyes would move on.

"It's not unlike a game," Tressel said. "A fumble happens. Sometimes you can't find out right there in the game what happened. You've got to go to the next play."

The 5-foot-11, 185-pound sophomore had two catches for 26 yards in nine games last year. He played in Ohio State's season opener against Texas Tech on Aug. 24 but did not have any stats.

His departure is the latest blow to a team that has lost several key players recently.

Late last month, fullback Jesse Kline quit the team because of continuing injuries.

Flanker Chris Vance and freshman defensive lineman Quinn Pitcock were forced to sit out the Buckeyes' season opener -- Vance for an unspecified violation of team policy, Pitcock because he was arrested for underage drinking.

Fullback Branden Joe was arrested and charged with drunken driving after police found him asleep in a car about 3:45 a.m. on a highway ramp near campus. He was suspended from the team but is now practicing for Saturday's game against Kent State.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)