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BG Falcon Media

The BG News
BG24 Newscast
November 30, 2023

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Clarett can’t touch OSU-UM hype

Around here, it’s the big game — if you don’t count UT/BG.

The annual Ohio State-Michigan game captures the attention of football fans across the nation, because both teams are always among the best. In northwest Ohio, the atmosphere becomes even more divided, as Bowling Green is equidistant between Ann Arbor and Columbus.

Michigan could claim the Big Ten championship with a win over Ohio State. But the Buckeyes — in the midst of a tumultuous season — could play spoiler in the game with a victory at home against the Wolverines.

With the annual big game having implications of all sorts (an Ohio State loss could result in an outside chance of Bowling Green playing OSU in the Motor City Bowl), not every Ohio State fan has football on their mind.

Some people are thinking about Maurice Clarett.

Clarett, the former standout running back for the Buckeyes, recently announced in an interview that he was given improper treatment during his one-year stint at Ohio State.

Among the special favors he claimed to have received were cash gifts, loaner cars, no-work jobs and special placement in classes where attendance was not important.

If this were true, Clarett would have sat on this information for almost two years. To come out with such allegations two weeks before the “big game” seems rather selfish.

If he can’t play in the game, he might as well find some other way to be in the headlines.

Clarett’s story hits a sensitive nerve with football fans because of the timing. In terms of the substance of his claims, many football fans aren’t that outraged because there exists a strong sentiment that college football players ought not be reprimanded for special favors.

Clarett says he wants to “clear his name” so that an NFL team will draft him this summer. To place yourself in a controversy of your own creation certainly isn’t the road to that particular goal.

Thankfully, Ohio State coach Jim Tressel has made it clear that he is more focused on Michigan’s running back than his former running back.

Because Tressel has won a national championship, he knows how to keep his team focused. It’s debatable whether or not he will be successful on Saturday, but it’s safe to say that the reasons for a potential Ohio State loss are more akin to inexperience at quarterback or poor execution, rather than lingering thoughts of Maurice Clarett bringing The Ohio State University down.

We’ll all be watching the game on Saturday, hoping to be a spectator of yet another classic game. Some of us want Michigan to win, and some of us cheer for Ohio State. But at this point, nobody’s cheering for Maurice Clarett — unless the cheering comes when he leaves the spotlight.

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