by Jim McAllister
The tragedy of former Ohio State University running back Maurice Clarett continues. It is a sad story that would have seemed unlikely when he scored the winning touchdown in double overtime of the 2003 Fiesta Bowl to give Ohio State the National Championship.
Clarett, who will be 23 in October, has had a roller coaster existence since his famous touchdown. He was declared ineligible for the 2003 season after being charged with falsifying a police report concerning thousands of dollars of his supposed property being stolen from a car he had borrowed from a Columbus, Ohio dealership. He eventually pleaded guilty to a lesser charge. That incident ended his relationship with Ohio State so he attempted to enter the NFL. When his lawsuit against the NFL’s refusal to draft him failed, his life continued in its tailspin. An attempt to make the Denver Broncos in 2005 failed and in early 2006 he was charged with robbery of a man and a woman outside a Columbus bar. He has been free on bail since that time as he awaits trial which will now begin September 18. Last Wednesday Clarett was arrested by Columbus police in a violent confrontation that started with an illegal left turn by him. After subduing him by force, the police found four loaded weapons and a half consumed bottle of vodka in his vehicle. He was arrested in the vicinity of the home of one of the witnesses against him in the January robbery charge.