Football flameout Maurice Clarett has found a new home in Rugby, and says he’s committed to making it on the U.S. team for the Rio Olympics.
The 29-year-old former Ohio State star has joined up with the Tiger Rugby Olympic Development Program in Columbus, and team director Paul Holmes told Rugby Mag that he couldn’t be happier with the decision:
“He’s ridiculous. That’s all I can say. His footwork is phenomenal. He’s nowhere near conditioned for rugby, but that will come… The stuff he’s doing in the gym right now, he’s just ridiculous.”
Clarett led Ohio State in rushing his freshman year in 2002, and scored the winning touchdown in overtime of the Fiesta Bowl to secure the BCS National Championship for his team. But academic and behavioral problems got him suspended and then dismissed in 2003.
Clarett failed to sue his way into the NFL Draft after being named ineligible due to his age, then sat out a year before being drafted by the Broncos in 2005. He was released before he ever played an NFL game.
Oh, then Clarett spent four years in jail for armed robbery and illegal gun possession. But Walker says they’ve done their homework on Clarett, and made sure he’s matured through his experiences.
“We hit up a few guys whose opinion we value…” Walker said. “We’ve been assured by people that we trust that he’s a different person, that he’s found himself. And I believe in giving him a shot.”
Walker says that Clarett doesn’t really know the game yet, but will begin training with the team immediately to learn the ins and outs of the sport, and to get in shape so he can aim for a spot in Rio.
SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) — The head of the Major League Baseball Players Association says it will be difficult for big leaguers to participate at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Baseball returns to Olympics after a 12-year absence for the Tokyo Games, which are scheduled for July 24-Aug. 9 — in the middle of baseball’s season.
“There are challenges with the schedule, and there are challenges with major leaguers being involved,” Tony Clark said Thursday at the Baltimore Orioles’ spring training camp.
In 2008, players on major league 25-man rosters and disabled lists on June 26 were ineligible to play. The U.S. roster included 17 players from Triple-A, seven from Double-A and college pitcher Stephen Strasburg, now with the Washington Nationals.
“It doesn’t mean that we are not continuing to have dialogue. We have going back. We will going forward. Where we land, I don’t know,” Clark said. “One of the things we were able to discuss during this round of bargaining were some additional flexibility in the schedule moving forward. Maybe there are some opportunities for a broader discussion than there have been a year ago. We’ll have to wait and see. We haven’t had that kind of substantive sit down yet.”
Many players are preparing for the fourth edition of World Baseball Classic, an international tournament launched in 2006 that is co-owned by Major League Baseball and the union. Clark hopes to see a fifth edition in 2021.
“I see no reason at this point why it wouldn’t,” he said. “I’m hopeful it continues, understanding that the world we live in four years from now may be different from the one we’re in now.”
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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Lance Armstrong‘s $100 million legal fight with the federal government has been set for a November trial.
U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper on Thursday set a Nov. 6 trial start in Washington. Armstrong’s legal team had asked to postpone trial until 2018 because of a potential scheduling conflict.
The government wants Armstrong to pay back the $32 million the U.S. Postal Service paid his team for sponsorship, plus triple damages.
Armstrong’s former teammate Floyd Landis initially filed the whistle-blower case in 2010, accusing him of violating the sponsorship contract by taking performance-enhancing drugs. The government joined the case in 2013 after Armstrong admitted cheating and was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and 2000 Olympic bronze medal.
Landis, who was stripped of the 2006 Tour de France title for cheating, could collect up to 25 percent of damages awarded.
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