November 09, 2004

Maurice Clarett tells ESPN: he was given cash, cushy jobs, simple courses, acedmic help, and access to loaner cars while at Ohio State. Should we believe him? Maurice clearly has an axe to grind, but don't we all know this goes on everywhere? And perhaps more importanly, how will the NCAA respond?

posted by 86 to football at 12:31 PM - 17 comments

A couple of thoughts... - This won't help Clarett's standing with NFL front office types. He's already viewed as someone with questionable character traits (loyalty issues, not a team-player, whiner). - The NCAA sucks. - Clarett's claims about the academic advisor he was assigned don't seem that bad. Why wouldn't you give your football player's advisors? - Isn't there someone who didn't change schools or face a drug rap that would be willing to back up these claims? Look, I believe them, but you know that Ohio State/NCAA will just turn to the character questions about Clarett, Maldonado, and Cooper. - Why, oh why, are these players not compensated fairly? - Why, oh why, do so many of them throw away the opportunities handed to them? Would a mandatory redshirt year as freshmen change anything?

posted by 86 at 12:43 PM on November 09, 2004

Oh no, I couldn't possibly believe that this would happen at a such a fine reputable institution of higher learning such as Ohio State.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 01:44 PM on November 09, 2004

NFL teams aren't going to care about Clarett's moral character any more than Ohio State did. If he can run and puts up good numbers in the scouting combine, he'll get a big payday.

posted by rcade at 02:49 PM on November 09, 2004

rcade, I think you're wrong... Though I'm basing this belief on nothing solid at all. I think this is exactly the type of red flag that may cause some teams to steer clear of him. Look, if he had pushed someone down the stairs, gotten a DWI, stolen some clothes, or something like that, I don't think it would cause many teams to think twice... But he's been am eccentric guy from all I have seen and I think questions about his team play, his loyalty, and his personality will make GMs think again before pulling the draft trigger. Even more so in light of the Ricky Williams debacle.

posted by 86 at 03:25 PM on November 09, 2004

After the Michael Irvin/white house escapades came to light, there was a brief moment a few years ago when my beloved Dallas Cowboys found religion and started caring about the character of their athletes. It lasted long enough for the team to pass on Randy Moss, even though their most glaring need was wide receiver. If Clarett has NFL size and NFL combine numbers, he could kill Jeremy Schap in a live television interview and still get a long look by NFL teams.

posted by rcade at 03:57 PM on November 09, 2004

86, rcade is dead on. If he performs he'll get a job. This is the same league where Ricky Williams WILL work again, Ray Lewis is a marketing icon and Leonard Little is STILL employed among many other transgressions by players. You can do whatever you want in the NFL as long as you perform (with the notable exception of marijuana, that'll cost you 4 games). If Rae Carruth wasn't in jail he'd probably still be playing. Clarett is not a believable person and has an axe to grind. That said, I would say his allegations are true. These are the things that go on at nearly every college with a footall team. The only real question is what will the NCAA choose to find in this case.

posted by pivo at 03:57 PM on November 09, 2004

i'm with 86. sure you can draft a thoroughbred that should put up x, y, and z on Sunday. But will that thoroughbred contribute to a winning team atmosphere? Me thinks not so likely. Which is to say, winning it all is the goal of a GM, and not putting together a lot of nice parts that don't work well together. So if you want to be a run of the mill GM, draft Clarett, but if you want to be the best, your best option lies elsewhere.

posted by garfield at 04:16 PM on November 09, 2004

he could kill Jeremy Schap in a live television interview and still get a long look by NFL teams You say that like it's a bad thing.

posted by mbd1 at 04:18 PM on November 09, 2004

Christian Peter was all the proof I ever needed that performance on the field trumps transgressions off it. Clarett seems to have long had a tenuous grip on reality...I would be inclined to take his comments with a grain of salt if it wasn't for the fact that, as 86 pointed out, these violations happen everywhere.

posted by vito90 at 04:48 PM on November 09, 2004

Somewhat off topic, but is the official name of the school "The Ohio State University"? On Monday Night Football last night on the first series, when the player blurbs pop up and they introduce themselves and where they went to school, I noticed that one of the Vikes' defense players introduced himself as "So and so, The Ohio State University."

posted by holden at 05:17 PM on November 09, 2004

It's probably an offshoot of the idiots from the University of Miami who say they are from "The U". Why Monday Night Football lets them get away with it, I don't know. It may be because Hurricane football alumni have trouble with polysyllabic words.

posted by wfrazerjr at 08:21 PM on November 09, 2004

is the official name of the school "The Ohio State University"? yes

posted by goddam at 08:55 PM on November 09, 2004

Why Monday Night Football lets them get away with it, I don't know. Because it makes a painful five minutes seem like 4:58. Plus, you think whatever intern films those is going to tell them they need to stop screwing around?

posted by yerfatma at 06:27 AM on November 10, 2004

rcade, I'm trying to distinguish between personal character flaws and professional ones. That might not be the best way to put it, but let me see if I can explain this. No NFL front office will really care about the fact Clarett filed a faulty police report. He could even get caught trying to distribute five kilos of coke this weekend, and you are right, he would still get his chance if the numbers are there. But what they do care about is the fact he didn't celebrate with his team on the sidelines during the national championship game. They see a sulky, immature, unguided kid who responds to tough times by throwing his school, coach, and teammates under a bus. That, not "off the field" transgressions could seriously hamper his professional future. The unique Monday Night Footbal intros were actually started by the Buckeyes in the NFL. They all began emphasizing the "The" and now every big-time school has to come up with something to follow suit. My favorite remains Laveranues Coles, who says his high school despite attending Florida State University. FSU gave him the FU treatment and let Peter Warrick slide on the same transgressions. Picked three rounds behind his teammate due mostly to character questions, Coles has proven to be a better NFLer and a model teammate.

posted by 86 at 08:49 AM on November 10, 2004

You know what would be better than just where they went to school? Here's the new script for that segment: 1) Your university's name 2) Did you graduate? 3) What was your major? 4) What was your grade-point average? 5) Rounded to the nearest $1,000, how much booster money did you accept while you were there?

posted by wfrazerjr at 09:22 AM on November 10, 2004

I'm not sure what to think of this, and who can tell what Maurice Clarett's football playing future holds. In my opinion, I would think he would be forever branded a loudmouth for talking about this. I would think stuff like this goes on all the time, and is just not talked about very openly. The biggest surprise for me is the actual $$ figures being thrown around. Thats a lot money to have in your pocket as a college kid. I went to WVU, and saw things once in a while that was pretty obvious. I remember on a few occasions coming to class in the morning and seeing a good number of football players sitting in the back of the room who were never normally in class. One of the coaches or staff were there to check on their attendance. 5 mins after leaving the room, more than half of them got up and left. And of course, there were times when I would see players driving around in cars that there was no *way* they could possibly afford. On the same note, I knew plenty of players, a few in the NFL now, who were dirt broke while at school too. So what do I know? I think just the fact that he was accepting these things, (money, cars, fake jobs) etc. Knowing 1: that it is wrong 2: getting caught could have a disasterous effect on his school's football program, shows his total lack of character and judgement. Who knows about his future. if he really does have the talent, all it takes is a really late round draft pick and a chance to prove it and back on the board. Speaking of Ohio State, whatever happen to Andy Katzenmoyer?

posted by Punkrockrat at 11:40 AM on November 10, 2004

Katzenmoyer was drafted by the Patriots, had a few unremarkable seasons, suffered a neck injury, and basically walked out of training camp in the summer of '01. The Patriots released Katzenmoyer in June of 2002 and he's been out of football ever since. As far as I know, he has not returned to the NFL in any capacity. No one seems to know where he is now.

posted by 86 at 12:11 PM on November 10, 2004

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