Friday, August 08, 2003

Dear Clarett, shape up or leave.

Ohio State's star tailback has been more trouble than he's worth. Did he have an impact in the Buckeye's Championship season last year? Yes, but he only played in 9 of the 14 games Ohio State played and the Buckeye went 5-0 without him. I am a big time Buckeye fan and I'd personally buy a one way ticket for him. It's just a simple cost/benefit analysis.

First the good.

- Had several electrifying performances in an otherwise injury plagued Freshman year.
- Potential Heisman candidate that could bring a lot of good publicity to the program.

That's really it. He had some great stuff last year but was injury prone and as he was injury prone in High School you can't assume he's going to be invincible this year.

Now the bad.

- SI cover photo of him tossing an Ohio State jersey into the trash in an article talking about leaving for the Pros after his Freshman year.
- Arguing with a coach on the sidelines during a game
- Castigating the University for not letting him go to a friends funeral while he was in Arizona for the Fiesta Bowl. Latter it turned out he never contacted the right people and didn't return messages to get it taken care of in a manner the NCAA would allow but he still blames the University for not, "taking care of him".
- Lied on a police report about items stolen from a car. Insurance fraud? Currently under NCAA investigation.
- Possible academic irregularities. Currently under NCAA investigation.
- Again threatening to leave early for the NFL. This time through his lawyer and not SI.
- Snubbing NFL hall of famer Marcus Allen buy no showing to a meeting arranged by his High School coach.
- Currently bringing loads of bad publicity to the program.

The reality is we don't know if Maurice will ever play another collegiate game again, the important thing is that we really shouldn't care. This is a kid blessed by the hand of God to have the potential to do mind blowing things on the gridiron yet he continually disappoints with his off the field attitude. He is a prima donna. His off the field antics bespeak of one that thinks they are above reproach. He acts as if his skills should give him a pass on life even though he has yet to accomplished anything.

Shape up and act right or leave us alone to enjoy the Buckeyes that don't cause problems.

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