Of course, the possibility still exists that Clarett will prevail in legal action against the NFL to enter the 2004 draft.
But he put criminal proceedings behind him today by appearing in Franklin County Municipal Court and accepting a plea to a lesser charge in connection with a case pending against him for filing a false police report.
The charge of failure to aid a law enforcement officer does not appear on a criminal record. Judge Mark S. Froehlich ordered Clarett to pay the maximum fine of $100.
Froehlich admonished OSU's wayward son to "give back to a community that has given so much to you."
After helping the Buckeyes win the 2002 national championship, Clarett missed the 2003 OSU season after he was suspended for taking extra benefits from a booster of his former high school, Warren Harding.
Clarett was accused of filing a false police report that exaggerated the value of several items stolen from a car Clarett had borrowed from a Columbus-area car dealership in April.
The charge of filing a false police report -- typically reserved in instances like this for cases of insurance fraud -- carries a penalty ranging from probation to six months in jail and up to a $1,000 fine.
Froehlich took a moment to lecture Clarett on the kind of impact he can make.
"You are in fact a role model," he said. "Many people in this community look up to you. Don't let them down, but most importantly don't let yourself down. Try to give back to a community that has given so much to you."
Following the proceedings, Clarett did not speak with reporters but did issue a statement.
"I will definitely consider the judge's advice to me whenever I make decisions that not only affect me, but also the kids who look up to me, family friends and teammates," he said. "I look forward to shifting all of my attention back to my studies and the team at the Ohio State University."
Clarett, the one-time Heisman Trophy favorite, remains on scholarship at OSU and there is some hope he will be able to rejoin the football team as early as this spring.
However, Clarett's legal team is also pursuing an action against the NFL to allow him to become eligible for that league's draft a year ahead of time. A federal court judge is expected to rule on that matter by Feb. 1.