Clarett - NCAA Ex-Ohio State star in trouble again


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Clarett wanted on robbery charges

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Maurice Clarett was wanted by police on Sunday after he was accused of using a gun to rob two people in an alley behind a bar.

The troubled former Ohio State running back fled when the bar owner or manager, who knew Clarett and the victims, came into the alley and identified him shortly before 2 a.m. Sunday.

According to police, the 22-year-old Clarett left the scene in a white sport utility vehicle with two other men and took only a cell phone from his alleged victims, who weren't injured. He was wanted on two counts of suspicion of aggravated robbery.

Ohio State coach Jim Tressel said he was informed of the incident on his way to the Fiesta Bowl news conference in Scottsdale, Ariz. Clarett helped the Buckeyes win the national championship in 2002 but has found only hard times since.

"Obviously, my reaction to that is it's sad," Tressel said, "because, as I said the last few times people have brought up the subject, my hope would be that he would have an opportunity to go over to NFL Europe and make a comeback.

"I hope it's not true, but beyond that, I don't know much, but my reaction is, I was sad."

Clarett sat out the 2003 season after he was charged with misdemeanor falsification for filing a police report claiming that more than $10,000 in clothing, CDs, cash and stereo equipment was stolen from a car he borrowed from a local dealership. He later pleaded guilty to a lesser charge.

Ohio State suspended Clarett for misleading investigators, and for receiving special benefits worth thousands of dollars from a family friend.

He later began an unsuccessful legal fight that went to the U.S. Supreme Court to be allowed in the NFL early. Clarett was chosen by the Denver Broncos in last year's draft, but the team cut him in August.

Tressel said he had spoken with Clarett "three or four times in the last six weeks."

"It's been along the lines of hoping he would have a chance to get things together and make a run at things with NFL Europe," the coach said.

Clarett would have been a senior on this year's Ohio State team, which meets Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl on Monday.

"It's real troubling," Tressel said of Clarett's fall. "Not just with youngsters that it becomes newsworthy, but with any kids who don't go the direction you know they're capable of or hope for them. It's one of the tough things when you compete. Sometimes things work out and you're successful and sometimes it doesn't. That doesn't have you back off from competing and teaching and trying to help people."

http://msn.foxsports.com/cfb/story/5210412

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