Over the last seven years, I have made my fair share of Maurice Clarett jokes. Back in the old days of the MZONE, Maurice provided us all a lot of rivalry fueled laughs as we watched his life implode. The best part of the story at the time was he posed a serious threat the seemingly perfect teflon coating that surrounds Buckeye coach Jim Tressel. I have since come to realize that coating is impossible to damage.
When word came out last year about Maurice's blog, it was like a comedic ghost returning from the dead. I spent a some time reading it looking for more punch-line material. Instead, I was left with a far different impression of the man. No longer was he the villain I had created in my ridiculous internal college football rivalry battleground. I now saw a seemingly thoughtful and sensitive young man living in suspended animation hoping to get another chance at life.
Well, it looks like that life is taking an impressive positive step this week. Maurice was quietly released from prison in April, has been living in a "step out" program, and started taking classes a THE Ohio State University on Monday. Rather than make jokes about him and the buckeye football program, I want to take this opportunity to applaud him for this very important life choice. I have long believed that an education is the key to escape the prison of idiocy and poverty. It is refreshing to see someone with the history of Maurice Clarett make this step. I hope with all of my heart he succeeds in finishing his degree and makes something out of this life.
Also, congrats to Coach Tressel for apparently making the effort to help Maurice make this transition. I very rarely allow myself to say nice things about the devil in the red sweater vest, but it would have been very easy for him to turn his back on a guy that tried to submarine the OSU program. He did not do that and my only response is: Well done coach. Perhaps you might want to consider giving Rich Rodriguez and Michigan's football program a second chance at life and re-energizing the rivalry in November?
I now return to my normal state of irrational buckeye hate.