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COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State junior Evan Turner announced on Wednesday that he would forego his senior season and declare for the NBA draft.  Turner, who on Sunday won the Naismith Award as college basketball’s best player, said he made the decision on Tuesday night after speaking with family members and Ohio State coach Thad Matta.

It is widely believed that Turner will be one of the first three players taken in June’s draft. “The past few weeks have been really hard for me,” Turner said.  “I’ve been agonizing on my decision due to the simple fact about how much I love The Ohio State University.  I love being a Buckeye.  I love my coaches and being a kid and the opportunity to do everything I’ve always dreamed of.”

Turner told 10TV’s Dom Tiberi he looks forward to taking care of his family because of the millions of dollars he is expected to make in the NBA. Turner led Ohio State and the Big Ten in scoring and rebounding this past season, and was the driving force behind the Buckeyes’ regular season and conference tournament championships.

COLUMBUS, Ohio—Former Ohio State football player Maurice Clarett is granted an early release Wednesday afternoon after serving 3-1/2 years of his 7-1/2-year sentence. Judge David Fais granted Clarett early release and five years of community control in a Franklin County courtroom Wednesday.  During his hearing, Clarett said he hopes to become involved in geriatrics and gerontology, the comprehensive study of aging and the problems of the aged.  He said he hopes to later work in elder care. Clarett started a fitness class for inmates 50 and older during his prison sentence.  When asked to name one think he learned about himself, Clarett said he lacked character in the past. Clarett pleaded guilty to two felony offenses Sept. 18, 2006, and was sentenced to 7-½ years imprisonment. He served 3-½ years of his sentence.  Those offenses were aggravated robbery with a firearm for the Jan. 1, 2006, robbery of two people in the alley behind the Opium Lounge in downtown Columbus and for carrying a concealed weapon related to his Aug 9, 2006, arrest after a car chase by the police on the city’s far East Side.

Clarett will be headed to a Franklin County community-based home, or halfway house, where he will spend as many as six months.

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