Clarett Turns himself in
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Former Ohio State running back Maurice Clarett turned himself in Monday night on charges of robbing two people with a gun in an alley behind a bar.
His lawyer, Percy Squire, said Clarett would be jailed overnight and planned to plead not guilty at a Tuesday court appearance. Squire would not elaborate.
Clarett was wanted on two counts of aggravated robbery since early Sunday, when police said he flashed a gun and demanded property from a man and a woman behind the Opium Lounge in downtown Columbus.
Police said he fled with two men in a sport utility vehicle after he was identified by the bar owner, who happened to come out into the alley. No one was injured, and only a cell phone was taken from the alleged victims, police said.
The 22-year-old former Buckeye star, who helped the team win the national championship in 2002, turned himself in around 9 p.m. Monday at the county jail, Columbus Detective Art Hughes said.
Around the same time Monday, fourth-ranked Ohio State was finishing a 34-20 win over No. 5 Notre Dame at the Fiesta bowl in Tempe, Ariz. Clarett would have been a senior this year had he stayed with the Buckeyes.
Myke Clarett, Clarett’s father, declined comment when reached at his home Monday night. A recorded message on the voicemail box for his mother, Michelle Clarett, indicated that it was full.
Clarett sat out the 2003 season when he was charged with misdemeanor falsification for filing a police report claiming that more than $10,000 in clothing, CDs, cash and stereo equipment was stolen from a car he borrowed from a local dealership. He later pleaded guilty to a lesser charge.
Ohio State suspended Clarett for misleading investigators, and for receiving special benefits worth thousands of dollars from a family friend.
Clarett also unsuccessfully challenged the NFL’s requirement that players wait three years after high school before turning pro in a case that went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. He was chosen by the Denver Broncos in last year’s draft, but the team cut him in August.
“Obviously, my reaction to that is it’s sad,” Tressel said Sunday, “because, as I said the last few times people have brought up the subject, my hope would be that he would have an opportunity to go over to NFL Europe and make a comeback.”
Clarett rushed for 1,237 yards and scored 16 touchdowns as a freshman in 2002, but has found only hard times since helping the Buckeyes win the national title.
In an interview with ESPN The Magazine in November 2004, Clarett said coaches and boosters arranged for him to get passing grades, cars and thousands of dollars while at Ohio State. None of the allegations were verified and Clarett never responded to NCAA requests to be interviewed about them as part of its investigation into Ohio State’s athletic program.
tressel, this is the first time I have ever heard of this.
Why am I not surprised?
Right up there with mike tyson and lawrence phillips, as far as wasting talent goes.