In the unlikely case you haven’t heard, former Ohio State tailback Maurice Clarett was arrested after a police chase early today. Columbus cops tried to pull over his SUV after it made an illegal u-turn on the east side, and after a five-minute chase along I-70, they got him stopped in a restaurant parking lot.
The officers had to use mace to get Clarett under control; the Tazer they tried using didn’t work because Maurice was wearing a bullet-proof vest. They then found that Clarett was carrying four loaded guns — a rifle and three handguns — in the truck, along with some Grey Goose vodka.
It gets worse. This happened just days before Clarett’s trial on armed robbery charges was to begin.
I don’t know what Columbus thinks about this — I’ve been a little afraid to look at the message board The Dispatch set up on its web page — but to me, it’s mostly sad. There’s no question he has — had? — the talent to play in the NFL, and that might have been the one thing that could have kept him out of this kind of trouble.
The fact that he’s not playing on Sunday is largely his responsibility — as I pointed out a couple of days ago, he didn’t seem to put forth any effort when his chance with the league finally came up. And he’s accused of making a lot of poor choices since then, things like holding up people outside of bars or driving around Columbus with an small arsenal and an open bottle of vodka in his truck.
I know I’m in an overwhelming minority here, but I’ll always believe Ohio State fans owe Maurice something, because we wouldn’t have won that national title without him. So I have to think there’s something the community could have done to help him out at some point. I’m just not sure what that is.