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Other Colleges NFL or bust?: A timeline of events for Maurice Clarett

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

A timeline of events surrounding Ohio State running back Maurice Clarett:

2002

January: Begins classes at Ohio State after graduating early from Warren Harding.

April: Wearing a plastic cast on a broken thumb, Clarett battles three other backs for carries in spring ball. Coach Jim Tressel says, "He's physical and he's having fun. He's going to be a good one."

Aug. 20: Is listed as the starter at running back, the first time a freshman has opened as the starter at the position since 1943.

Aug. 24: Rushes for 175 yards and three touchdowns in a 45-21 rout of Texas Tech in the Pigskin Classic.

Sept. 14: Runs for 230 yards on 30 carries and two TDs as the Buckeyes rally to beat Washington State, 25-7.

Sept. 17: Has arthroscopic surgery on his right knee, misses game at Cincinnati.

Sept. 28: Returns to lineup, rushes for 104 yards and three touchdowns in 45-17 win vs. Indiana.

Oct. 5: Rushes for 140 yards and two touchdowns but fumbles three times in a 27-16 win vs. Northwestern. TV cameras catch him yelling at running backs coach Tim Spencer and at a teammate.

Oct. 16: In a cover story in ESPN The Magazine, Clarett says he has thought about leaving college early for the NFL.

Oct. 19: Left shoulder is injured in a 19-14 victory at Wisconsin.

Oct. 26: Six plays into a 10-6 win vs. Penn State, Clarett reinjures shoulder and does not return.

Oct. 30: Says he has received dozens of pieces of hate mail from Ohio State fans since the ESPN The Magazine article.

Nov. 23: Rushes for 119 yards on 20 carries, scores on a 2-yard run and sets up the other Ohio State TD with a 26-yard pass reception in a 14-9 win vs. Michigan that boosts Buckeyes into Fiesta Bowl showdown with Miami.

Dec. 30: Denounces Ohio State officials for not allowing him to fly to Youngstown for the funeral of a friend.

Dec. 31: When Ohio State athletic director Andy Geiger says Clarett didn't file the necessary paperwork for emergency financial aid for the flight, Clarett accuses administrators of lying.


2003

Jan. 3: Dives into the end zone on a 5-yard run, providing the winning score in a 31-24 double-overtime victory, giving Ohio State its first national title in 34 years.

July 12: The New York Times quotes a teaching assistant at Ohio State who says Clarett received "preferential treatment."

July 29: NCAA investigating Clarett's claim that more than $10,000 in clothing, CDs, cash and stereo equipment was stolen in April from a 2001 Chevrolet Monte Carlo he had borrowed from a local dealership. Clarett's attorney, Scott Schiff, later acknowledges many of the items belonged to the dealer, not Clarett, and that Clarett exaggerated the value of some items. Ohio State says Clarett will be held out of team activities "until and unless" his eligibility matters have been resolved.

Aug. 11: Clarett, his mother, former NFL great Jim Brown and Clarett's attorney meet with NCAA officials. Clarett says he believes he'll be cleared to begin practicing.

Aug. 22: Ohio State says Clarett will likely serve a multigame suspension but will be allowed to resume practicing

Aug. 25: Clarett rejoins team in practice but won't be allowed to dress for season opener.

Aug. 30: Geiger says Clarett's suspension is largely the result of the tailback's misleading investigators.

Sept. 2: Tressel bars Clarett from practice and team activities. Geiger says Clarett likely will miss entire season.

Sept. 4: Clarett family lawyer Alan C. Milstein says they haven't ruled out a legal challenge of the NFL rule that prohibits underclassmen from entering the draft.

Sept. 9: Clarett charged with misdemeanor falsification for his claim to police in April that thousands of dollars in goods were stolen from the borrowed car.

Sept. 10: Geiger says school has submitted its response to the NCAA and has suspended Clarett for the season.

Sept. 23: Clarett sues the NFL, asking a judge to throw out a league rule preventing players from entering the draft until they have been out of high school for three years.

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