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Maurice Clarett's triumphant return will have to wait a while


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Wed Aug 05, 2009 2:37 pm EDT


Maurice Clarett's triumphant return will have to wait a while

By Matt Hinton

When last we checked in on Maurice Clarett, the ex-Ohio State star turned convicted felon had appealed to the governor of Ohio for early release on a seven-year sentence for robbery and gun charges. Clarett has been in prison since 2006 and, though his sentence extends through February 2014, a plea deal reduced his time to three-and-a-half years with good behavior. On that timeline, he could be out by the end of 2010.


It looks like Clarett will serving all of that, too, as he withdrew his request for clemency earlier this week:


Clarett had argued that the sooner he was released, the sooner he could make a comeback, possibly in the NFL. But he sent a letter Monday to the Ohio Parole Board explaining his decision to withdraw the request, Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction spokeswoman JoEllen Culp said Wednesday.


"It probably was a reality check by both Mr. Clarett and his lawyer that they had no chance of obtaining clemency under the circumstances," [Franklin County prosecutor Ron] O’Brien said Wednesday.


Possibly. But Clarett's original letter for early release in June reportedly mentioned becoming a motivational speaker and attempting a return in the Arena or Canadian leagues. Is it a coincidence that Clarett's withdrawal coincided with reports of the Arena League's imminent demise? Probably -- after all, there was always Canada, and bringing the Mind of Clarett to wayward souls around the greater Midwest. (Not to mention, you know, "freedom" in general.) But if for some reason Maurice had his sights set on, say, the Cleveland Gladiators, that's just one more dream down the drain. Hang in there, man.





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