Clarett hoping blog inspires others
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Former Ohio State football star Maurice Clarett writes that he's blogging from prison so others will learn from his wrong decisions.
The tailback who led the Buckeyes to the 2002 national championship is in the Toledo Correctional Institution on his 2006 conviction for aggravated robbery and carrying a concealed weapon.
"There's no need to talk to a reporter these days. I am my own newspaper. I am my own editor. I am my own censor. I am able to put things into the proper context," he writes in an entry dated Feb. 28. "I am able to control the content and I am educated enough to accurately express myself. I am able to distinguish to people in a unique fashion that football is just something that I do. Football is not Maurice Clarett."
Time in prison was necessary due to my actions but it's my personal belief that I can use my celebrity to assist more people in so many creative ways that I've come up with than to occupy this cell at $25K per year.” -- Maurice Clarett in his blog
He's serving at least 3½ years for a holdup outside a Columbus bar and a highway chase months later that ended with police finding loaded guns in his SUV.
In his blog, Clarett says he's taking courses through Ohio University and is interested in public speaking when he is released. He writes that he is blogging in the hopes he can reach others before they make the kind of choices that landed him in a prison cell.
"Instead of entertaining people with my life, I am using certain events to educate, inspire and help others make conscious choices so they can avoid circumstances like this. It is easy to say that I messed up my life and show pictures while creating a storyline for entertainment, but it does nothing for humanity as a whole," Clarett writes. "That's good for water cooler conversation, but it does nothing for the young men who didn't make it to the NFL and have no future in college and are looking to the streets for an outlet.
"Time in prison was necessary due to my actions but it's my personal belief that I can use my celebrity to assist more people in so many creative ways that I've come up with than to occupy this cell at $25K per year," he writes.
Clarett doesn't have computer access in prison. His mother tells The Columbus Dispatch he phones the blog entries to relatives, who post them.
In a passage replying to comments made on his blog, Clarett says his time in prison has taught him valuable lessons.
"Surviving the game of life is drastically different than surviving the 4th quarter of the Fiesta Bowl," he writes. "Remaining sane while being locked down twenty-three hours a day during the beginning of my incarceration built character and revealed to me what I was really made of. Respect me and the viewers of this blog by bringing something constructive and positive so someone else can possibly change their life."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.