More 'Youngstown Boys' Details Emerge, ESPN's 30 for 30 Documentary on Maurice Clarett and Jim Tressel

By Jason Priestas on November 14, 2013 at 4:04p
Youngstown Boys

In October, we first brought you the details behind Youngstown Boys, an ESPN 30 for 30 feature on Maurice Clarett and Jim Tressel, and now ESPN has issued a press release for the documentary, which will air at 9 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 14, following the Heisman Trophy presentation.

Youngstown Boys explores class and power dynamics in college sports through the parallel, interconnected journeys of one-time dynamic running back Maurice Clarett and former elite head coach Jim Tressel. Both emerged from the working-class city of Youngstown, Ohio—Tressel as the head coach who turned around the football program at Youngstown State—before they joined for a magical season at Ohio State University in 2002 that produced the first national football championship for the school in over 30 years.

Shortly thereafter though, Clarett was suspended from college football and began a downward spiral that ended with a prison term. Tressel continued at Ohio State for another eight years before his career there also ended in scandal.

“Consistently referenced as one of the best documentaries of the last several years in or out of sports, The Two Escobars is the gold standard of what we do,” said Connor Schell, vice president of ESPN Films. “Jeff and Michael Zimbalist have delivered that level of excellence again with Youngstown Boys. In this film, their distinct style and storytelling are matched with two of college football’s most complicated figures of the last decade. We are honored to be showcasing this film in college football’s premiere timeslot.”

Youngstown Boys features interviews from Clarett and Tressel, as well as Pro Football Hall of Famer Jim Brown and former Ohio State QB Craig Krenzel.

“At its core, the story of Maurice Clarett and Jim Tressel is about fathers and sons, said co-director Jeff Zimbalist. “In addition to their record-breaking exploits on the playing field and involvement in two of college football’s biggest backroom scandals, we were drawn to the layered saga of ‘The Senator’ and ‘The Beast’ because it transcends sport. In examining the interconnected rise and downfall of these two men from opposite sides of the Youngstown tracks, we discovered the deep role that family plays in any quest for greatness.”

We plan to reivew a preview copy of Youngstown Boys, so stay tuned for more on what should be a pretty solid film.


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OSUStu's picture the DVR!

If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.  ~ Bruce Lee

gwalther's picture

To the U-Verse app to set the DVR!

Class of 2008

OSUStu's picture

Haha.  I actually did the same but I couldn't find it listed yet.

If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.  ~ Bruce Lee

Hovenaut's picture

Marking the calendar now, really looking forward to this one. 

Chief B1G Dump's picture

Awesome!  I hope this is truthful but also very positive towards these two and the program.  Really looking forward to this.

Denny's picture

Oh man, I didn't realize that the guys who made The Two Escobars are the ones doing the Youngstown Boys film. The Escobars documentary was amazingly well-made.


Poison nuts's picture

Yep - it's going to be good for sure.

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

BuckeyeChief's picture

I cannot wait for this doc!

"2014 National with it!!!"

osu07asu10's picture

Get pumped up! 

CJDPHoS Board of Directors // Best friends with Homey Hache

The 0 is silent.

southernstatesbuckeye's picture

This gif says so much.  Urban Meyer has not done this kind of fist pumping anywhere else.  He is excited to be at Ohio State!  He knows he has a winning product, and if given the opportunity...he will bring the Crystal Princess back to the Buckeyes in the second year at the helm!
Now think about that...if he were to do this, he would knock the media and its pundit driven drivel in the nose, he would de-horn the Alabaman devil or whoever was sent against him, and cement the legend of Two Year Meyer.  Wow.  To do that at three consecutive schools in scarcely over a just insane.  Meyer already transcends Nick Saban, but if given the matchup the entire world really wants to see...he will treat Alabama like he treated Ohio State a few years back. 
And ya know something? 
I'm ok with it this time.

I like cookies.

JollyFatMan's picture

It's amazing how a small rust belt city which has been known as Murdertown USA has helped shape not only the state of Ohio but many college and professional programs across the nation. 
Love my city. 

How firm thy friendship..

OurHonorDefend09's picture

Y-town is my (our) town.

Don't give up... Don't ever give up.

northcampus's picture

I wish every media hack/blogger and OSU critic had the chance to actually spend 30 minutes with either JT or MC.  The experience would probably change a lot of built-in assumptions regarding the current misguided public perceptions of both men in probably the first 5 minutes of the conversation (if it took that long).
Both JT and MC are benchmark examples of overcoming adversity and thriving after the storm has calmed.

southernstatesbuckeye's picture

Well said.

I like cookies.

unholy bucknut's picture

I can't wait to check this out. Give me something to look forward to in between the regular season and the bowl season.

741's picture

Are we certain that Ohio State will not end up looking bad (again) once this is aired? I'm ambivalent about this program.

Michael's picture

Given the stated emphasis on the "fathers and sons" theme, I think it will be less about the transgressions and more about why they occurred.
Tressel is the "father" who wants to protect his kids, Clarett is the "son" who was welcomed into the first stable family unit of his life, only to be outcast a year later. I'm hoping this documentary focuses more on the relationship between player and coach, rather than rehashing the past.

AlphaMaleBettor's picture

"Youngstown Boys" !??
that's what the heathens at ESPN named it?!
we all know Youngtown's basically a sh*thole, so ESPN will try to take advantage of that negative connotations. I am fired up tonight, I tell ya. I am in rare form.
ohhh what THE fuq!
it's gonna be a snuff film. a snuff film, i tell ya!
they're gonna try to paint Jim T. & Maurice as evil dark characters.
Fuq dis shi
I am boycotting Bspn's non-stop trolling and bullying. I feel bullied now. Fuq that network

jayt's picture

Brb, using Google Translate to decipher what the hell you just said.

13THandSummit's picture

I was waiting for a punch line to a satirical post, but it never came...

Buckeyebrowny919's picture

"How was I supposed to know? THE GIRLS NEVER CAME!"

To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift - Steve Prefontaine

Denny's picture

'Alpha Male'


buckskin's picture

Can't wait for this to come out.  I love Tress and Maurice the beast.  As much as I loved Jim Brown as a player, I can't stand him as a "mentor".  His advice is God awful and his views are extremely racist.  I still wonder what Maurice could have been if he had listened to wisdom from people like Marcus Allen who offered to meet him the day of his HOF induction, but Clarrett blew off!  Even though his story has a happy ending, it's a sad waste of physical talent. 

DefendYoungstown's picture

Been waiting for this one for a while. CAN'T WAIT!!!!

What we can't do in the air we'll do on the ground.

BuckeyeAtHeart22's picture

My uncle, who lives in Youngstown, took me to a Warren-Harding game where this crazy-talented running back tore up the defense for 380 yards on 19 rushes.  I think the year was 2000.  I had no idea that same kid would win a championship with OSU two years later.

jenks's picture

I'm not sure if "two of college football’s biggest backroom scandals" is the most accurate representation. Otherwise, it sounds quite interesting.

misterbulbous's picture

I picked up on the same thing...

harleymanjax's picture

Yeah I'm waiting for the 30 for 30 on JoePa........

"Because I couldn't go for 3"

WC Buckeye's picture

The good people of the Commonwealth won't let it happen in our lifetimes - too many legal problems. Instinctively, you're right, but it's a radioactive area right now and won't be "unsealed" for 75 years like the Warren report.

The only thing that's new in the world is the history that we have forgotten.