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#pounditWednesday, September 30, 2020

Maurice Clarett working as UConn men’s basketball consultant

Maurice Clarett has found a job in sports again, but probably not the one you’re thinking of.

Clarett is serving as a consultant for the Connecticut men’s basketball team. The former Ohio State running back was initially asked by coach Dan Hurley to come talk to the players last summer, but it went so well that Hurley asked Clarett to become a consultant full-time.

Clarett told players the story of how he had gone from college football star to imprisoned for armed robbery, and the steps he has taken to rebuild his life. That story resonated with many of the players.

“When he told his story, I was just in shock how he bounced back,” senior Tyler Polley told Zach Braziller of the New York Post. “He pretty much lost everything. It’s inspiring.”

Clarett spends up to three days a month with the players in person and also makes himself available by phone. He essentially frames his role as something of a therapist, helping players mentally and counseling them through on- and off-court issues.

“I’ve built a trust I think with the guys. We’ve been able to get together and work one-on-one and have started to explore what does life look like outside of basketball, what encourages and motivates them,” Clarett said of his role. “At the state that America is in right now, I’m pretty sure a lot of what I said to these guys resonates. Life is a lot bigger than basketball. It’s a lot bigger than going out there and getting in shape, running and dunking and jumping. It’s about the impact you have on people. The impact you have on the world.”

The former BCS champion has been very open about his struggles once his football career went off the rails. Between being dismissed from the Ohio State team and never even making it to the NFL to his prison sentence, he’s experienced highs and lows in sports and life that few others have. It’s very easy to see why Hurley and the Huskies could view him as a valuable resource for young athletes.

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