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|Seems like ages ago when we watched Clarett play for OSU.|
|Clarett was cut from the Broncos in a blink.|
"The overwhelming majority of black athletes come out of the lower echelons of black society," the professor said. "I don't think it is accidental when you look at the inordinate number of blacks in jail and the proportionate number of blacks on athletic teams. You are essentially looking at the same guy. They both have numbers; they are both in uniforms, and they both belong to gangs. They only call one the Crips, or the Bloods, while they call the other team the 49ers, Warriors, A's, or the Giants. They are all in pursuit of respect. They all, at one level or another, keep score. The parallels are all there. It is the same guy." A 6-foot, 230-pound running back who once wore the number 13 and rushed for 1,237 yards in a one-year career at football's second highest level, scoring 18 touchdowns and never losing a game, finds his way to the criminal justice system. To become a part of it. For possibly the next 10-15 years. Minimum time, maximum security. How did a sociologist predict you? Society predict that the world would see you? Predict the person you would become? How on this day, while you sit inside a jail cell, can you convince yourself that football, the game you believed you were brought on this earth to play, didn't save your life it was the reason it almost ended? How do you accept that as your blessing? If you are Maurice Clarett, how do you finally tell football goodbye? Scoop Jackson is a national columnist for Page 2 and a contributor to ESPN The Magazine. He has a weekly segment on "Cold Pizza" and is a regular forum guest on "Rome Is Burning." He resides in Chicago. Sound off to Scoop and Page 2 here.