Banned for the season, Clarett looks at options

Maurice Clarett offered a cryptic four-second comment on his season-long suspension by Ohio State:

"I'd just like to say, there's two sides to every story."

Then he laughed as if it were all an inside joke, a game he was playing with the Buckeyes and the NCAA, and he would win somehow by revealing his side at the opportune moment.

Clarett can stay on scholarship at Ohio State. He might be able to play for the Buckeyes next season and win another national title, perhaps even a Heisman Trophy.

He can transfer to a different Division I school, sit out a season, and hope the NCAA lets him play later


He can challenge the NFL's ban against drafting players until three years after high school. He can dodge the draft and go to Canada, making some money in the CFL.

The smart move for Clarett, the one that best suits him, might be to jump to a small, predominantly black school like Grambling where he can play sooner, still get a good education and escape the disappointment and distrust that has built up at OSU.

Clarett, though, doesn't always make the smart move.

Whatever Clarett does, his story will have legs. He is the best of college football and the worst of it. He challenged the establishment, and the establishment came down hard on him. He represents rebelliousness to some, irresponsibility to others.

Steve Wilstein is a columnist for the Associated Press

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