Maurice Clarett, in front of room full of his UFL Omaha Nighthawks teammates, came clean, confessing his sins as a player and a man. The former Ohio State superstar, the one who brought coach Jim Tressel a national championship, long ago skidded into trouble and oblivion.
Maurice Clarett said he lived the high life at Ohio State. His life since has included time in prison and a far-less-glamorous pro football career. (AP Photo) Former Nighthawks coach Joe Moglia’s “Life After Football” classes included training camp dinners followed by each player telling a piece of his life story. Forbes writer Monte Burke trailed Moglia, a former CEO of TD Ameritrade and current coach at Coastal Carolina, and wrote about the after-dinner confessions in his book, "4th and Goal: One Man’s Quest to Recapture His Dream.” Clarett was among those who told all.
In an excerpt obtained by Deadspin, Clarett tells his story: “I took golf, fishing, and softball as classes," Clarett says. "Away from class, anything you can think of I did in my 13 months at Ohio State." Drugs and women were two of the things. Cars were another—he owned three of them at a time, including a brand-new Cadillac and Lexus. "I was living the NFL life in college," he says. "I got paid more in college than I do now in the UFL."
That wasn’t the beginning of Clarett’s troubles, as he was arrested multiple times as a juvenile. And, it most certainly wasn’t the end. A life of crime and drugs led him to prison. “Contrary to popular belief, prison does not give you street cred,” Clarett says in 4th and Goal. “Anyone who glorifies it is an idiot. It only lets your dumb arse know that you got caught doing something wrong.” Clarett was sentenced to seven and half years, but was released early for good behavior. Prison was dark—and enlightening, a period in which he freed himself from addiction. He’s now on the road to redemption. “I don’t want people to say ‘Don’t be like Maurice Clarett,”” he says. “In fact, I want the opposite. I want people to see me now and say they want to be like me. And I’m working every day to earn that.”
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