September 08, 2003

Maurice Clarett to Grambling?: Why not straight to the league? (By way of a federal courthouse, that is.) Why not Youngstown State? Any of you Ohio SpoFiers have any idea what's going on with this kid?

posted by kloeprich to football at 04:40 PM - 12 comments

There's a lot of things going on here. First off, OSU is more likely than not, out of the running (duh). Second, I've heard that if Clarett decided to go for the league he would face a pretty drawn out process. Third, Grambling makes sense for all the reasons that Jim Brown makes but one.
National Spotlight. Going to Grambling may very well give Maurice the chance to showcase his skills. But he won't be competing for a National Title on as good a squad. Nor will he be on as big a stage. Is he okay with that? Does he need the big time atmosphere? Does he have a choice?

posted by lilnemo at 06:02 PM on September 08, 2003

I think the CFL is the answer, at least he'd make some cabbage.

posted by mick at 06:58 PM on September 08, 2003

The CFL is a good alternative. But the pointed question is, Would Maurice deign to play in "the lesser league"? Sure, there's some romance to being the best player not in the NFL (though I'm not sure that's his title to hold after one year of college ball), but is it enough? And if he did opt for the CFL how long would it take for him to break into the NFL? What would the effects of a stint in the CFL be? Would he disappear off the NFL radar a la Tommy Frazier? Would he make it to the NFL after 8 years in the CFL a la Doug Flutie? What does he think of the 'Jays new logo?
I think I'm having a meltdown...

posted by lilnemo at 08:08 PM on September 08, 2003

This option doesn't make a lot of sense to me. If this season is shot for Clarett, why not come back next year with Ohio St. instead of a Division 1-AA team? Or, if he's worried about getting rusty, why not run off to Canada for a couple of years and then jump into the NFL? If I were advising Maurice, I would probably tell him to challenge the NFL in court. There's some pretty good precedent that he would win via the Spenser Haywood Rule.

posted by panther at 08:42 PM on September 08, 2003

Imagine this:
You're in your late teens early 20s. You are a prodigy in a particular field where not many other people can be employed much less thrive.
You make a mistake(allegedly?).
The person in charge of the institution where you hone your skills tells you that you are no longer allowed to showcase your abilities in order to seek gainful employment.
Other "high-profile" institutions feel you may be an unnecessary risk to their program.
Your "advisors" have found another (though smaller) institution willing to bring you in.

Would I go to Grambling instead of, say USC or Florida? Probably not. Then again, are they offering scholarships? Probably not?(Violations you know.) At this point its all lip service. If Maurice applies for a transfer, I'm reasonably sure he ends up with another Top 25 school. Grambling would be cool. Grambling would be a stand.
" I'm talking about drawing a line in the sand, dude. Across this line, you Do Not..."

posted by lilnemo at 09:45 PM on September 08, 2003

I think Grambling came out of Brown's mouth and is logical cause he has been playing the race card in this fiasco (ie calling Geiger a "slave-master") and with Grambling being the most high profile traditionally black football school and with very high profile coach, it is logical fit. Other major schools, like USC or anywhere else, are out because then Clarett would still have to sit out a year, but that doesn't apply to a transfer to a 1-AA school. Challenging the rule is an option, but I doubt that Clarett has interest in seeing it through as Haywood did and the outcome is unclear (although he would likely win, would he win in time for the 2004 Draft). If Clarett is out this entire year at OSU, I can't really see him playing there next year. It should be interesting....

posted by dales15 at 11:04 PM on September 08, 2003

he has been playing the race card in this fiasco Well, that and the fact Doug Williams is coach.

posted by yerfatma at 06:16 AM on September 09, 2003

If Clarett goes to Grambling he's even dumber than the recent car fiasco would suggest. He's already showcased his skills on a National Championship team. All he would get by playing for another college program is a chance to risk career-threatening injury. If he isn't going back to Ohio State, or they're not going to take him back, he should turn pro.

posted by rcade at 08:24 AM on September 09, 2003

well, I think other D1 schools are out because the NCAA wouldn't reinstate him to play division 1. If they would, then Grambling would be pretty dumb, because the competition isn't as good. The CFL is an interesting option. But it has risks. but at this point, he's costing himself millions and a guaranteed ticket anyway, so everything he does will have drawbacks. I think this is all pretty stupid. Not that I like Clarett but I'd think a suspension of 4 games ought to be enough, and of course not reimbursing him for the stuff he didn't buy... I mean, it's not like he obtained it illegally. He got gifts. I understand the logic for the rule but I still think that a few games would be sufficient punishment.

posted by Bernreuther at 08:56 AM on September 09, 2003

I'll start by saying that I'm speaking out of both sides of my mouth: I've stated -- and will continue to state -- that a player like Clarett (or Mike, Reggie or Roy Williams) should probably play in CFL against tougher competition. That said, competition doesn't matter on the college level as it regards preparing you for the NFL -- you've got the talent or you don't. The best receiver ever went to Mississippi Valley State. Jackson State produced the best running back ever, arguably. Both went to those schools in a post-segregation era. The best two pass rushers in the NFL today went to Akron and Texas Southern. Two of the best five QBs going today went to Delaware and Alcorn State. So to me, the only difference between Ohio State and Grambling is that if Clarett were at Grambling, no one would bother with this crap that he's ready for the NFL at this point. That's not to say that he's not, but hype is fueling much of that assertion. Otherwise, your competition on the college level is going to be a joke relative to the NFL, whether it's McNeese State or Miami. I don't have a problem with "playing the race card", and on a certain level, I don't have a problem with the "slave-master" analogy, though I don't think it's specifically about Geiger. But if race is going to be an issue, you do what Kellen Winslow did with his son and you make it a factor in the recruiting process. Some of this is a matter of having informed people around you, but I'm sick of athletes being led like sheep to programs that might not have their interests at heart. In this particular case, I think Brown's hamming it up to make Clarett out to be a victim when (a) the guy's basically making a lot of unnecessary screw-ups; and (b) the guy has always had options beyond dealing with Ohio State -- like going to another school where he actually felt comfortable -- well before this crap came down.

posted by jackhererra at 09:40 AM on September 09, 2003

I cannot locate the story, but I heard this morning that Clarett and his law team will not challenge the NFL's ruling. If he decides on a 1AA school, Youngstown State makes more sense if he likes being close to his family. Going to the CFL makes no sense to me. First, isn't the current CFL season about half over? Second, doesn't the CFL feature quarterbacks, not running backs? I haven't seen much of the CFL, but what I have seen it appeared the CFL QBs either threw it or ran it themselves. With only three downs and a bigger field, I don't think a running game is a big strategy in the CFL. I guess Maurice could practice his pass-catching.

posted by munger at 05:15 PM on September 09, 2003

I think the rub on the Youngstown State option is that you don't want to be up the street from the place where you did all your dirt.

posted by jackhererra at 07:45 PM on September 09, 2003

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