Sunday, January 01, 2006

Maurice Clarett - from star to alleged felon in no time at all

Police in Columbus, OH are looking to pick up former Ohio State star running back Maurice Clarett on armed robbery charges.

Clarett, for those of you who don't know, was a tremendously successful freshman running back at Ohio State back in 2002, helping the Buckeyes win the National Championship. However, since the win over Miami in that year's Fiesta Bowl, Clarett has had nothing but trouble.

He was suspended by Ohio State for the 2003 season for filing a false police report and for receiving special favors from boosters. Then, in 2004, he spilled the beans on Ohio State's "fringe benefits" program to ESPN The Magazine. Following that less-than-shocking revelation (folks, EVERY major college football program has that sort of shenanigans going on), the NCAA extended an "invitation" to Clarett for him to elaborate on his charges. He never showed.

Clarett also challenged the NFL policy on draft eligibility, a case that made it to the Supreme Court. Once he was finally drafted by the Denver Broncos, he made it all the way through training camp before Denver cut him. He has not caught on anywhere else.

The real kicker is the fact that, if he had stayed in school and kept his mouth shut, Clarett would be a senior right now, and the Buckeyes might be somewhere other than back in the Fiesta Bowl against Notre Dame.

You hate to paint everyone with the same brush, and there are many examples of athletes who are fine, upstanding citizens, but there are also enough of these stories that I often ask myself, "Why am I cheering for these guys?"

No comments: