Originally created 09/19/06

Clarett takes deal, heads to prison



COLUMBUS, Ohio - Former Ohio State star Maurice Clarett was sentenced to prison for at least 3 years Monday after pleading guilty to aggravated robbery and carrying a concealed weapon.

Judge David Fais announced the deal on the day jury selection was to begin in a case in which Clarett was accused of holding up two people outside a bar.

Sentenced to 7 years with release possible after 3 years, Clarett also agreed to serve five years of probation afterward.

"I'd like to apologize for my behavior, and I accept the time that was given to me," the 22-year-old said.

After the deal was announced, Clarett looked at his mother, who was sobbing and holding his 8-week-old daughter while sitting next to his girlfriend.

The concealed-weapon charge was from Clarett's Aug. 9 arrest after a chase with police who found four loaded guns in his sport utility vehicle. His attorneys said Monday that the guns, which belonged to Clarett, came from his mother's house. They said he was trying to give the guns to acquaintances to hold for him.

Defense attorneys said they hope Clarett can be placed in a state prison with workout facilities so he can stay in shape for a possible return to football.

GEORGIA TECH: Calvin Johnson did not practice Monday, leaving his status for Thursday's game against Virginia in question.

Johnson suffered a leg contusion early in Saturday's victory over Troy. Coach Chan Gailey said he is hopeful Johnson will be healthy enough to play in the ESPN-televised game.

POLL SHUFFLE: Boston College moved into the No. 20 ranking in The Associated Press Top 25 after the poll was recalculated to fix a mistaken ballot.

The revised poll breaks a 20th-place tie between Boston College and Arizona State, dropping the Sun Devils into No. 22.

Poll voter Ken Tysiac of The Charlotte Observer said he mistakenly sent his Sept. 10 poll ballot.

UNDER REVIEW: The Southeastern Conference has determined officials made the right move in reversing a pass interference call on a deflected pass late in the Auburn-LSU game.

SEC coordinator of officials Rogers Redding said the call was correct because the pass was made uncatchable, making the timing of the contact irrelevant.

Another fourth-quarter call that went Auburn's way also was correct, Redding said. An LSU interception on third-and-29 was negated because Daniel Francis was penalized for interference on Courtney Taylor, giving Auburn an automatic first down.

- The Pac-10 issued a one-game suspension to the officiating crew and the instant replay officials who worked last weekend's Oklahoma-Oregon game.

Pac-10 commissioner Tom Hansen said a video review of the game by conference officials revealed that both the instant replay officials and the game officials made errors in the final 1 minute, 12 seconds of the game.

University of Oklahoma president David Boren sent a letter to Big 12 Commissioner Kevin Weiberg, asking him to push for the Sooners' game against Oregon to be eliminated from the record books and for the Pac-10 officials involved to be suspended for the rest of the season.

WOLFPACK CHANGE: North Carolina State coach Chuck Amato said Daniel Evans will start at quarterback against No. 20 Boston College on Saturday, elevating the reserve past Marcus Stone.