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Buckeye Beach Bum
IS it too late?

Saturday, January 29, 2005 ...WE'RE ON THE SAME PAGE
Time: 9:10:55 PM EST

Is It Too Late For Clarett?


Maurice Clarett will compete in the College All-Star Football Challenge on Monday in what could be a last gasp to impress the NFL.

Is it too late for the former Ohio State running back? I can't be sure.
But here is what I do know:

Clarett trashed Ohio State in ESPN The Magazine last fall because he thought it would help his reputation in the eyes of pro scouts. Instead, it just made things worse.

Clarett lied to NCAA investigators because he said he wanted to protect Ohio State coach Jim Tressel.

"I thought he'd give me the NFL,'' Clarett said.

Clarett wasn't kept out of the NFL by Tressel or anybody else at Ohio State. He was kept out the NFL by the NFL - as Clarett lost a legal battle to enter the draft after his freshman year.

Clarett also lied to Columbus police about a break-in involving his own car.

Clarett has done nothing in the past two years. He hasn't gone to school, he hasn't played football.

Clarett sees himself as a victim. Most pro scouts see him as selfish and unmotivated.

Clarett had been given good advice by Tressel and others. It just wasn't the advice he wanted to hear.

Clarett wanted to be told that he could beat the NFL in court and become a first-round draft pick. Had he not listened, he would have completed his junior season at OSU - and most likely be drafted in the early rounds.

Clarett has a history of changing his story, and still hasn't provided a single shred of evidence to prove his charges of cushy jobs, cars, or money from boosters while at Ohio State.

Clarett had one player firmly backing his claims - former Buckeye Marco Cooper. But Cooper had been suspended from the team after two drug arrests, leaving his credibility open to question.

Shady System

The above is what I know.

Now here is what I think:

Too many college athletes are given jobs where they are overpaid and do little work. As long as the jobs aren't authorized by the athletic department, not much can be done about it.

It wouldn't be a shock if this type of stuff happened at Ohio State, or any other major program.

Eliminating suspicious boosters is extremely difficult for most athletic departments, so Clarett's claims of receiving money are at least believable.

Coaches shouldn't be recommending car dealerships to their players, as Tressel did for Clarett. Ohio State officials said the NCAA was aware of the situation and said it was OK - but that doesn't make it a good idea.

The Buckeyes have been a major academic upgrade under Tressel. The football team has graduated 50 percent of its players during his tenure - compared to just 16 percent under John Cooper. Also, Ohio State has led the Big Ten in all-academic selections in the last two years.

There are still too many silly courses and meaningless degrees available at too many colleges. The majority of them are set up to make it easier for athletes.

Most major college athletes don't realize how insulting it is when the rest of the student body hears them say they are "playing for nothing.'' A $60,000 scholarship and entourage of tutors ought to mean something. Almost everyone else has to work their way through school and take out loans.

No matter how you spin it, Clarett seems like an angry and troubled young man who is self-destructing and doesn't seem to know it, or care. Worse, he's running out of opportunities to be successful - as a football player and as a person.

Sam Amico can be reached at [email protected].
Finally found a reporter with a brain. Here is what is interesting about the Ohio State is Corrupt mentality. One of ESPN's own, Jim Donnan, is now on the ropes as a result of courtroom testimony about pay for players. Half of the SEC has been implicated in that case. Follow that up with a Sooner fan posting on a Sooner BB that two Sooners took 50k each from an agent while in season. And the Scout Sooner board is running a thread asking which program is the dirtiest. LOL!!! Boy are they going to be surprised if the posting of their own fan is accurate. Then we have the entire Tennessee soap opera that is about to start up with the trial brought by the former Bama assistants. Gee, wonder when it's USC's turn - and you know it's coming. I am sure UCLA fans are itching to see that USC gets a payback for USC allegedly ratting out DeShaun Foster. And the band played on.
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One of ESPN's own, Jim Donnan, is now on the ropes as a result of courtroom testimony about pay for players
I don't think Donnan will get nailed for anything. The high school coach testified that Donnan gave him $700 in the Albert Means saga, but Donnan testified that $500 was for the coach to participate in a coaching clinic and $194 was to cover the cost of Means visit. Donnan said they had receipts for those things.

Back on thread, that's a great article by Sam Amico. Nice to see some perspective in print for a change,
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An excerpt from yesterday's NY Times article:

After his testimony, Donnan said in a courthouse hallway that he and several other coaches talked among themselves about the need for an NCAA review of recruiting at Alabama, including Means' signing.

The other coaches, he said, included Phillip Fulmer of Tennessee; Steve Spurrier formerly of Florida and now with South Carolina; Houston Nutt of Arkansas and former Mississippi coach David Cutcliffe, now an assistant at Notre Dame.

``We weren't for sure what happened,'' Donnan said. ``We were just talking about the need for it to be investigated.''

Why the need for all of these coaches to huddle up regarding Means? The high school coach testified that the bidding started at 50k, so how did the final price get to 150k? The high school coach has nothing to gain with his testimony, so why implicate these college coaches? The trial involving the former Bama coaches will shed some light on these issues.
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MililaniBuckeye said:
Amico's article should be sent to all ESPN broadcasters and analysts
Not bad for a writer down in the Valley. I used to read the Intelligencer and the Times Leader every day when I was living at home. Doug Huff of the Intelligencer is an excellent sportswriter as well.
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