Maurice Clarett, late of the Ohio State University football team and not yet of the National Football League, says he's telling the truth now. Clarett says that while he was a freshman at Ohio State, he received grades he didn't earn, was paid for no-show job he'd received through the football program, had the free use of luxury cars, and got cash from the football program's boosters, all with the knowledge and approval of head coach Jim Tressel. Clarett's claim is that he did not answer questions raised about these issues during an NCAA investigation of his conduct at Ohio State because he wanted to protect Tressel and the program.
Regarding Clarett's charges, spokespeople at Ohio State, maintaining that Clarett lied to the NCAA on his own and is lying again now, suggest that we consider the source.
There are two problems with that defense: number one, if the culture at Ohio State didn't create the source, that culture did at least enable Clarett to behave as he did. Number two, numerous other recent members of the football team have corroborated Clarett's assertions. Marco Cooper has acknowledged that while he was playing for Ohio State, he had the use of a car from a local dodge dealer, that he received various other favors from local merchants, and that he and at least eight other players had no-show jobs.
Another former player, Curtis Crosby, has told ESPN that when he tried to transfer from Ohio State to Grambling, the academic advisor took one look at Crosby's transcript, which was filled with courses such as "officiating basketball" and "officiating tennis," and asked "what are they doing up there at Ohio State?"
Ohio State contends that the former players spilling the beans about the culture of the program are liars, criminals, and lowlifes, but each one of the informants was a recruited player, a guy the coaches wanted, so they are the program's own liars, criminals, and lowlifes, if such they are.
Maybe the most recent series of charges and counter charges will somehow encourage a National Football League team to draft Maurice Clarett. That's what he hopes. Ohio State fans are hoping the publicizing of such matters as fake grades, worthless courses, fraudulent jobs, free cars, and cash for yards gained will help the coaches there recruit the next batch of studs, some few of whom might have been only vaguely aware of precisely what goodies would await them in Columbus.
This program aired on November 12, 2004. The audio for this program is not available.