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Mental Health Agency Started By Maurice Clarrett Closes Columbus Location

Maurice Clarett in a Red Zone hoodie
Maurice Clarett
Maurice Clarett has shut down the Columbus office of the Red Zone.

Former Ohio State football player Maurice Clarett says he shut down the Columbus office of an agency that helps children with mental health issues because it wasn’t performing up to standards.
The Red Zone location on Parsons Avenue abruptly closed this week. A letter from the company’s attorney that was obtained by media outlets blames the closure on clerical errors that prevented reimbursements.

“Recently, RZ was made aware that paperwork, notes and other required documentation submitted to Medicaid from the Columbus office contained a huge amount of inaccuracies that caused hundreds of claims to be rejected by Medicaid,” the letter reads.

In a Wednesday Facebook post, Clarett said, “I’m proud of what we built but unfortunately we couldn’t succeed the way I’d like in Columbus. We will continue to look to place them in care with others and once that’s complete continue to grow in Youngstown!!!!!"

Speaking on WOSU’s All Sides with Ann Fisher last month, Clarett was upbeat about the effect his agency was having on children.

“We have statistics that the office referrals have decreased from us doing behavior interventions. The grades have gotten better, that’s statistically proven. Just overall, the behavior just over time is not reoccurring like it was before we started,” Clarett said.

Clarett himself had a traumatic childhood and eventually landed in prison after leaving Ohio State. He’s since written the book One and Done: How My Life Started After My Football Career Ended.

The Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Board of Franklin County released a statement saying adults needing crisis or ongoing care should contact Netcare, while youths in need should be directed to Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

Steve Brown grew up in nearby Richwood, Ohio and now lives there with his wife and sons. He started his journalism career as a weekend board operator at WOSU while majoring in journalism at Ohio State, where he also wrote for the student newspaper The Lantern and co-founded the organization Students for Public Broadcasting.