Tuesday, November 9, 2004


Now, Maurice Clarett is talking. He’s stating that he “took the fall” for the Ohio State football program including head coach Jim Tressel during the NCAA‘s investigation into the program last year. Clarett played just one season for Ohio State, which won the National Championship, and has since had a big falling out with the school. This whole mess has had scandals, lawsuits and investigations around.

                   Maurice Clarett

Since the NFL draft bru-ha, Clarett has pretty much kept quite all summer…apparently conditioning himself and working on his draft status. He feels “blackballed” from the school and his name completely dragged thru the mud for a program that doesn’t want him. His break of silence is an attempt to “clear his name” so he looks a little better to NFL owners and general managers. He has been projected as a 4th or 5th round draft pick.

Here are his allegations of what happened during his freshman year of 2002-2003:

*Jim Tressel and his coaching staff….as well as boosters….provided him loaner cars

*Dick Tressel, the head coach’s brother, arranged lucrative landscaping jobs that Clarett didn’t even need to show up for.

*The coaching staff hooked him up with boosters who’d “slip him” some money….in the thousands. The better he played, the more cash he’d receive.

*The staff “aligned” Clarett with an academic advisor whose job was just to keep him eligible.

*The academic advisor enrolled Clarett in independent study and into classes with teachers that would pass him even if he didn’t come to class.

                            { DISCUSS THE BUCKEYES HERE!!!! }

Clarett has said that he knowingly covered up Tressel and the program during the NCAA investigation. He also said he most likely would have been ineligible for the 2002 Ohio State National Championship season if not for the “advisors”.

This aren’t outlandish allegations. Another Ohio State flunkie, linebacker Marco Cooper [who only played the season prior to Clarett’s arrival] says he also had those “landscaping jobs”. He also said that a booster furnished his apartment and he able to borrow cars at a Columbus dealership in exchange for his signature on some Buckeye items. Cooper was suspended from the team after being arrested twice for drug possession.

Current Maryland Terrapin running back…and former Buckeye….Sammy Maldonado says he was put in classes that didn‘t gain him any credits toward graduation. When he transferred to Maryland, only 17 of his 40 credits could actually betransferred to the school. We heard about Andy Katzenmoyer’s advanced college curriculum with included “the history of TV” and “Golf”.


Of course, OSU is denying this. Coach Tressel, the school president, the AD and members of the coaching staff declined to comment on the actual allegations. The academic advisor and tutor declined to comment. However the AD did say that Clarett “vowed to me that he would do something to try to get us”. He mentions the character of Maurice Clarett. “If you’ve checked into the background and history of who you’re dealing with.“ The NCAA won‘t comment.

Clarett has been a thorn in the Buckeye’s sides for a while. In the weeks leading up to the title game against the Miami Hurricanes, Clarett blasted OSU officials for not letting him fly back to Youngstown, OH to attend a friend’s funeral. The school stated that he didn’t file the proper paperwork for emergencyfinancial aid for the flight. Clarett says they are lying.

A teaching assistant claimed that Clarett received “preferential treatment” and walked out in the middle of a mid-term exam…but passed it when the professor gave him a private oral exam. Clarett was investigated on making a claim that $10,000 worth of stereo equipment, Cds, cash and clothes were stolen out of a Monte Carlo he borrowed. His attorney later stated that Clarett exaggerated the value of the items…and that many of the items belonged to the dealer. He was later charged with making a false claim to police. The team suspended him.

He was on a magazine cover saying how he may want to leave college for the NFL draft after his freshman season….then is shown in a picture tossing his Buckeye jersey aside. He brushed off a meeting with Marcus Allen that was set up for him by his high school coach. He sued the NFL so he could be eligible for the 2004 draft. He was for a minute….then wasn’t. He exhausted all avenues of legal action…and still ended up outside the NFL draft. These rulings affected USC’s Mike Williams, who is also in limbo. He has a history of saying things that turn out not to be true.


During the NCAA’s investigation, the asked Clarett about these allegations. At the time, he wasn’t forthright with his answers…which is in violation of NCAA rules. So, Ohio State suspended him. The NCAA has cleared the school of the allegations that Clarett is now bringing up. The school has moved on…but this has put a black buck-eye on the university and Jim Tressel.

TheNational Championship against the Caner game was the last time Clarett has played a football game….that was July 3, 2003. He has been working out and hopes to be invited to various college “all-star games” to show off his talents. This could be where the sad story of Maurice Clarett finally makes an upward swing. The NFL may offer him a chance to turn over a new leaf. Or he could follow guys like Lawrence Phillips into a quick NFL career that ends even worse than the college days began.

All I know is that Ohio State can’t wait for him to get away.


No comments: