Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Mo Clarett agrees to prison time

Disgraced former Ohio State star RB apologizes in court

In a somewhat surprising development yesterday former Ohio State running back Maurice Clarett, who as a freshman helped lead the team to a National Championship, has agreed to a prison term of up to 7 years for aggravated assault. The question is now 'has there ever been a bigger fall from grace?' Well, probably Tyson.

Just as Clarett's trial for an attempted armed robbery on a couple outside an Ohio nightspot this past New Years' Eve was set to begin, his lawyers informed the judge that they would agree to a plea deal that sentences Clarett to 7 1/2 years in the slam, with at least 3 1/2 to be served before he can get out for good behavior. Assuming he is capable of good behavior.

I remember watching the games when he was playing on that National Championship team and he was just something special on the football field. He brought an electricity and excitement to the game and the entire NCAA as well- he was one of those players. He set OSU freshman records for TDs (18) and rushing yards (1,237.) and the Buckeyes finished the year 14-0. That 2002 season was capped by the Buckeyes appearance in the Fiesta Bowl vs. Miami, a game they won in double-overtime on a TD by Clarett; it is considered to be one of the best title games in college history (let me tell you, it was.)
But then came the troubles: allegations began to surface about payoffs and privileges given to the talented youngster. He was accused of lying about property missing from his stolen car, an auto given to him by a booster of the team. He also was said to have not attended classes and being given automatic passing grades. All of these issues are almost routine for star players at big money athletic schools (see: Reggie Bush, USC.), but then Clarett decided to leave school and fight the NFL to let him enter the draft. NFL rules say no player can enter the draft after his freshman year, but Mo was determined to have the rule overturned, just for him.

Clarett and his legal team tried and lost the case and that's when his life started to take a drastic turn for the worse. He sat out of football, moved to LA to party with rappers, and went downhill fast. Despite an offer to participate in training camp with the Broncos last year, he squandered it away by being overweight, overwhelmed, and possibly under the influence during camp.

This lead to the New Years Eve incident and more recently his arrest for driving around with 4 loaded weapons in his vehicle near the home of the women set to testify ion the assault trial. Uh-oh. Thankfully he was caught before something really terrible could have ended a few lives for good.
With the plea deal his life can come full circle- he's seen the highest of the highs and his time in jail should be the lowest of the lows. Let's just hope he cleans himself up and gets the help he needs to make something positive of his life; his daughter will be 4 when he is eligible to be released.
Because if he doesn't, I'm afraid the next story we may read about him will be his obituary.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

No one really believes Clarett was guilty of robbery. This was a set-up by Ohio State with Tressel using an NFL Europe contract as bait to get him to come back to Columbus. Once back in Columbus, the trap was set.

No one knows why he had the guns. My guess is that he was manipulated into a show down, with the life of his new daughter in the balance. He had a police trail on him every since he arrived back in Columbus. Once he put the guns in the truck, the trap was again set.

We don't know why he pleaded guilty. But it is clear, there is a whole lot that is unknown.

What is known is that OSU, the NFL, and the people of Ohio got their revenge.