MAURICE CLARETT: OUT OF PRISON UNIFORM AND INTO UFL ONE
TONY WASHINGTON: MAY NEVER WEAR ANY UNIFORM SHORT OF BURGER KING’S
This is a story of two of football’s biggest pariahs. One, who was widely recognized as the most famously disgraced college athlete in history, just spent a couple of years in prison after being an armed robber. The other was skipped in this year’s NFL Draft and is known as “dude who raped his own sister.” Both are seeking redemption and shots at professional football.
Maurice Clarett, a running back, had one of the greatest freshman seasons in the history of college football. He ran for 1,237 yards and scored a school record 18 touchdowns while leading Ohio State to the 2002 BCS Championship. Clarett then scored the game-winning td in the Fiesta Bowl. However, after the game, Clarett declared for the NFL Draft. Unfortunately, he wasn’t eligible to play in the NFL until after his junior season. Clarett also lost his college eligibility after declaring for the draft. Following a couple of unsuccessful court rulings, Clarett spent two years in limbo before getting a shot with the NFL’s Denver Broncos. He promptly washed out and was cut in training camp. Faced with a bleak future, Clarett turned to a life of crime. He robbed an Ohio couple at gunpoint, became known as “The Grey Goose Bandit,” and was involved in one of the most famous running back/police chases this side of O.J. Clarett was eventually convicted of armed robbery and spent 3 1/2 years in prison where he reached new lows as a blogger.
MAURICE CLARETT’S PASSENGER SEAT THE DAY OF HIS ARREST
However, Clarett’s story may have a happy ending. He was just released from prison and allowed to sign a professional football contract with the UFL’s Omaha Nighthawks. Clarett will at least get the CHANCE to play professional football this season. Tony Washington may never get that chance.
Washington was a star offensive tackle at Abilene Christian last season. Following a brilliant showing at the combine and going into the 2010 NFL Draft, Washington was projected as a secound round draft pick. Instead, Washington became football’s most notorious registered sex offender after word leaked out that he had been convicted of raping his own 15-year-old sister. Washington then went undrafted and no team signed him as a free agent.
Last week, ESPN The Magazine ran a mildly positive piece entitled “Unforgiven” on Washington. Written by a female reporter, the article explains how the sex between Washington and his sister was consensual and a one-time thing done mainly out of the boredom of living in Mississippi. Still sickening and taboo, but it doesn’t exactly portray Washington as the “rapist” he was presented as. The ESPN piece even reports that fact that even though they had sex, Washington and sister “never kissed.” Ick!!!!
Still, wary NFL teams have fled from the prospect of having a registered sex offender in camp.Washington never got a job offer from an NFL team. Even the UFL, which just signed Clarett, has treated Washington as radioactive.