Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Forgiveness For A Running Back

He went from being loved by the Buckeye Nation to being one of the most disliked players ever. In 2002, the Freshman phenom was one of the key cogs in Ohio State's national championship run. Shortly thereafter it all fell apart...all due to poor decisions on his part. It got so bad that he was released from his scholarship and tried to take his coach, Jim Tressel down with him. He accused Tressel of violating major NCAA rules causing Tressel to go through some uncomfortable media scrutiny before he was proclaimed "clean" by the NCAA.

I'm talking about Maurice Clarett who was just released from prison where he has spent the past three and a half years. He not only was released, but he has enrolled in classes at Ohio State. No, he is not going to play football, but the fact that he is in school is something incredible.

The really incredible part of this story is that Jim Tressel, the very guy Clarett tried to take down, has been helping to make this happen for Clarett. “We've been working for the last three months try to get the i's dotted and the t's crossed to get him back in and move him towards a degree,” Tressel told reporters Tuesday.

While Clarett was easily the most hated man in Columbus, this was obviously not the case in the Tressel household. In an article on one of my favorite web sites, The Ozone, Tressel had something to say that we all can learn from.

“Anytime someone is part of your life, even if it doesn't go well, you've got to continue to be there for him,” Tressel said.

“That's just the way we do things.”

Although Tressel continue to reach out to his embattled former player, Clarett’s life continued to spiral out of control, eventually landing him the slammer in 2006, three years after he was released from the Denver Broncos without playing a down in the NFL.

With his return to classes at Ohio State, Tressel is optimistic about Clarett’s chances of transforming his life story from tragic to inspirational.

“It's what you hope for,” he said.

“We all make mistakes...some are different mistakes than others and there are always consequences for whatever the mistake is and if you take care of that, usually the world is a forgiving world.”

"For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you."
Matthew 6:14


Ann Voskamp @Holy Experience said...

Excellent commentary --- thank you for putting your voice out there in the High Calling Community.

The world needs to hear more stories like this one.

Thank you...
All's grace,
Ann Voskamp

Jim Lange said...

Thank you so much Ann for checking in and for your encouragement!

Bob Tamasy said...

Good perspective, Jim.

Jim Lange said...

Thanks Bob! I hope you are doing well! Football season is coming soon--should be an interesting year! Go Bucks!