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Maurice Clarett comes 'home' to Ohio State

I can guarantee you that’s a headline I never thought I would’ve typed in my lifetime.

But that’s indeed the case as Maurice Clarett has returned to his old stomping grounds, albeit as one of tens of thousands of students that litter the Ohio State campus instead of a revered-turned-reviled football star.

The former Buckeyes running back and hero of the school’s last national championship is enrolled at OSU, taking his first classes of the summer session Monday with a listed major of Consumer and Family Finances.

Clarett released a statement through the university in which he sounded both contrite and just wanting to get on with his life.

This is a surreal feeling to be back at Ohio State in such a supportive environment. I have looked forward to being back in school and I’m doing my best to fit in with other students. I don’t want to be distraction or nuisance to the football team or to students on campus.”

Monday was likely one of the the first times Clarett has stepped foot back on the Columbus campus since being ruled ineligible in 2003 for receiving illegal benefits.  Shortly thereafter, the now-26-year-old Clarett — after a failed 2004 lawsuit that, if successful, would’ve allowed him to circumvent league rules and enter the draft before he’d been out of high school for three years — was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the third round of the 2005 NFL draft.  After being cut by the Broncos before ever seeing a preseason or regular-season NFL field, Clarett’s personal life began to unravel and spiral out of control.

On New Year’s Day of 2006, Clarett was being sought by police and ultimately charged with aggravated robbery; eight months later, he was arrested yet again following a police chase and subsequently charged with, among other offenses, carrying a concealed weapon without a permit.  Both of those incidents occurred in the city of Columbus.

In September of that year, Clarett was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in prison, with the possibility of early release halfway through the sentence.  In April of this year, Clarett was indeed granted early release, but was ordered to a Columbus halfway house for six months.  Again, in Columbus.

So, one of the most self-entitled players in the history of college football has come full circle, attempting to get a mess of a life under control as he exits prison and embarks on the rest of his days on this earth.

In a blog family and friends helped him maintain while in prison as he had no Internet access, Clarett — in the final posting that appeared in August of last year — placed the onus for his troubles squarely where they belong.  On himself.

“One thing that really frustrates me is that I have not been relevant to my family for the past four summers. That puts a chip on my shoulder. I have no one to blame but myself. The thoughts just put me in a zone like no other. It puts me in my “One and only” mode. I know that there is no way for me to make up for lost time but hopefully my actions in the future will help them to forget all that’s taken place in the past. I never thought I’d once again be in the position of thinking how am I going to get out of this rut. I think that the longer I wait the more serious I become. I think it’s because I have a good understanding on what it means to be physically free.”

I have no one to blame but myself.

If Clarett can wrap his arms around that ideal and truly live it — as opposed to his pre-prison life, which consisted of various coddlers ranging from hangers-on to family to members of the OSU athletic department and football program enabling at nearly every turn — maybe he can flip the script on this sad tale and become a productive member of society.

Good luck, Maurice.  Don’t blow this chance sitting in your lap.

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Respond to “Maurice Clarett comes 'home' to Ohio State”
  1. Arizona Buckeye says: Jul 26, 2010 10:53 PM

    Uff – what a waste this kid made of his life. He had it all in the palm of his hands and he destroyed it. I can only hope horrid crash and burn to the bottom of the pit will have a permanent impact on him and he actually manages to do some good in some part of his life. I would suggest you stay away from booze and machine guns this time!

  2. Sean Martin says: Jul 26, 2010 11:10 PM

    Great to see him attempting to do the right thing. I wouldn’t be opposed to seeing him being offered a position somewhere as a RB coach.

  3. SoFlaTrojan says: Jul 27, 2010 12:34 AM

    “I have no one to blame but myself.” Thats awesome no kidding and nobody should feel sorry for this stiff.

  4. philcommander says: Jul 27, 2010 3:59 AM

    I actually followed some of his blog that he wrote from prison. He will be fine out in the real world. He did some hard looking at himself and didn’t like what he saw and set all the wheels in motion to change. You gotta remember he was only a kid when his life began to unravel. He was a kid living in a world where everyone put him on a pedestal…and he fell off due to his own inability to handle it all. He knows this and I’m really not sure that he would want anything to do with football ever again.
    This is the best move for him…get an education and become a better person. There should be no haters on this guys back…he screwed up, owned up, and is now changing…what more can you want?

  5. overratedgators says: Jul 27, 2010 6:35 AM

    Sean Martin: “I wouldn’t be opposed to seeing him being offered a position somewhere as a RB coach.”
    Somehow, I think Jim Tressel might mind that considerably.

  6. DDESIB_LakerFan says: Jul 27, 2010 7:11 AM

    WOW!! you would have thought he killed someone. The brother is getting his life together and he gets a “he wasted his life”. He is 26 just starting his life. Just because he did not make your insignificant life any better by living thru him does not make him a waste or a stiff. Good luck with your Life Mr Clarett.

  7. gator_prof says: Jul 27, 2010 7:15 AM

    I hope that Mo makes it. It would be quite a turn around.
    As an aside, when any Buckeye fan pokes at another program, just remember the Vest sold the soul of your program with Mo to get a title, period.

  8. Cubano says: Jul 27, 2010 8:06 AM

    “Yo bitch, give me yo lunch money!!!” Only a matter of time w/ that guy.

  9. NoKoolaidCowboy says: Jul 27, 2010 8:08 AM

    “…with a listed major of Consumer and Family Finances.”
    I don’t know how he is going to do with that as a major but, whatever. As long as he is not out there pulling guns out on anyone and being a productive member of society.

  10. BigBlueGator says: Jul 27, 2010 8:16 AM

    Good for him…. He’s got a track record of getting tossed in the slammer. But, if he can quit channeling his inner 2PAC than the kid might be alright. There is nothing wrong with someone bettering themselves.

  11. dsims7_2000 says: Jul 27, 2010 8:33 AM

    Sean,
    He sould not be allowed to even attend Football practice or games. PERIOD! Glad he is going for something good, but the memory of ripping OSU apart for $$$$ still remains.

  12. villain_001 says: Jul 27, 2010 9:01 AM

    Glad to hear he has the support system around him at Ohio St. Hope the best for him.
    -USC fan

  13. jupe says: Jul 27, 2010 9:19 AM

    this is a research university >>> ” major of Consumer and Family Finances” ?

  14. buckeye044 says: Jul 27, 2010 9:22 AM

    To Sean Martin
    Really?
    He doesn’t know how to coach running backs. His talent was god given and he made a mess of it.
    I hope he is able to get a degree and be a productive citizen. Football in any capacity should not be an option at this point.

  15. marktg30 says: Jul 27, 2010 9:42 AM

    I am happy to see someone actually come out of prison trying to turn their life around…
    Let the OSU haters come on out. A-Holes.

  16. Stephanie says: Jul 27, 2010 9:44 AM

    First – I’m a Buckeye. Sayint the OSU Athletic Dept. and football program enabled Mr. Clarett is incorrect. His mother and friends – yes – but Jim Tressel and the team? No. That is why he became bitter and unreasonable in the first place, they started telling him he couldn’t do whatever he felt like doing. Second – I’m glad he wants to attend OSU and try to earn his degree. I hope and pray he is successful. He sounds contrite and sincere. And, of course, GO BUCKS!

  17. funi says: Jul 27, 2010 9:48 AM

    Another OSU failed player in life and who could not make it to the next level! Give it a few months until he is involved at something bad at Ohio State! Trouble follows this punk.

  18. blitz4848 says: Jul 27, 2010 10:27 AM

    Give Clarett a chance–he paid his dues to soctiety. He had it all going on and he threw it away. Now, possibly he wants to get back on the right path to turning his life around. Hopefully he has the support system in place to help him through the tough times ahead. Even though history shows most kids can’t turn it around, there are success stories, and it would be a feel good story if he would get his degree and move on to be a productive member of his community.

  19. charliewade says: Jul 27, 2010 10:37 AM

    I don’t care what he (or more likely a ghost-writer) put onto his blog. Words are just that: only words.
    If he truly feels like his is responsible for not only destroying all those chances in life he’s had but also the hurt he has inflicted upon others, that’s good, it’s a start.
    But he has to LIVE like he believes that, too. All we have to do is look at Michael Vick to know that words really don’t mean a thing. Once again, this week Vick is apologizing, saying once again that he has learned his lesson this last time, once again begging mercy from the Eagles and Reid,….. once again, saying he accepts responsibility.
    I really hope Clarett has turned a corner, is humble, and in his heart accepts responsibility for his life. But only time and his present and future behavior will truly tell.

  20. Arizona Buckeye says: Jul 27, 2010 11:00 AM

    I will give him credit – it takes some guts to return to OSU given all of the history this man has there, not to mention the bridges he tried to burn as he was on his downhill plunge.
    Good luck Mo – I hope you are able to take advantage of this chance.

  21. BrownsTown says: Jul 27, 2010 11:02 AM

    overratedgators,
    “Somehow, I think Jim Tressel might mind that considerably.”
    Not that Clarett is qualified at the moment, but Tressel has kept in touch with Clarett over the years and has tried to help him out. Tressel doesn’t treat them like disposable products.
    gator_prof,
    “As an aside, when any Buckeye fan pokes at another program, just remember the Vest sold the soul of your program with Mo to get a title, period.”
    Despite your weak attempt to bottom-line it, what’s wrong with recruiting a guy without a record? Remember that Clarett committed to Notre Dame before going to OSU, because he couldn’t qualify academically at ND. I wasn’t aware that ND was in the business of recruiting thugs. When Clarett started acting a fool, he was suspended, and not just for one game like Velvet Hammer Meyer might do.
    Don’t concern yourself with OSU issues. Just start focusing on your cowardly OOC schedule coming up and the numerous UF player infractions. That should be enough to occupy your free time.

  22. blitz4848 says: Jul 27, 2010 12:26 PM

    @ BrownsTown
    Just start focusing on your cowardly OOC schedule coming up and the numerous UF player infractions. That should be enough to occupy your free time.
    __________________________________
    U can do better than that!
    Despite YOUR weak attempt to bottom line it–the conf OOCs are NO diff and where are the numerous UF infractions that you refer to????
    Your blogs R usually better than this shoot from the hip BS!!!!!!!

  23. BENITO says: Jul 27, 2010 1:10 PM

    the prodigal thug returns!!! arizona buckeye hops on flight back to c-bus to falaciate him!!! mo got a little “soft” in prison!

  24. Arizona Buckeye says: Jul 27, 2010 4:07 PM

    BENITO – I’ll be on that plane right after I get done banging the shit out of your mother and sister. I hammer your granny if she’s up for it too…

  25. gator_prof says: Jul 27, 2010 5:23 PM

    BrownsTown:
    Uhm, didn’t we wax your sorry a$$ school in two national title games…embarrassing beat downs? Talk about schedules all that you want, but head to head UF waxed OSU in both football and basketball for the national title. I think that the beat down in the football title game set all sorts of records in terms of a defense dominating an offense.
    If that wasn’t bad enough, you were humiliated against LSU as well…nice.
    Well, at least Bron Bron left to take your mind off of being humiliated by the SEC in general and UF specifically. Hmmm, I guess it is ironic that Bron Bron when to a Florida team.
    A couple of points regarding Mo at OSU…
    1) Meyer would have suspended him for yelling at Tim Spencer, period.
    2) Publicly hammering the AD and HC prior to the bowl game for not paying for him to fly home for a buddy’s funeral, would have resulted in his suspension for the bowl game, period.
    The Vest compromised himself to let his temperamental star continue to play.

  26. BENITO says: Jul 29, 2010 3:19 PM

    doubt it zona buckeye, my mom and sister are not attracted to homosexuals!

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