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Thread: Appeals court blocks Clarett from entering NFL draft this weekend

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    Appeals court blocks Clarett from entering NFL draft this weekend

    By LARRY NEUMEISTER, Associated Press Writer


    April 19, 2004


    NEW YORK (AP) -- Maurice Clarett's bid to jump to the NFL was blocked Monday by a federal appeals court that left open the possibility he could enter a supplemental draft.

    The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals put on hold a lower-court decision to allow the former Ohio State star and other athletes, like Southern California's Mike Williams, to enter this weekend's draft.

    Players are barred from the NFL until three years after high school graduation under current league rules.

    The appeals court said it stayed the earlier ruling to safeguard the NFL from harm and to ensure a more thorough review. Its final opinion will probably be issued after the draft, perhaps weeks from now.

    Any potential harm to Clarett would be lessened by the NFL's agreement to hold a supplemental draft if the appeals court later ruled in his favor, the court added.

    The ruling came on the same day Williams filed his own lawsuit in federal court in Manhattan, saying the NFL had issued conflicting statements about eligibility for the draft, thus causing him to sacrifice his college career.

    But Williams' college coach, Pete Carroll, said it was possible the wide receiver could return to school.

    ``We'll continue to help our guy out, just like we did when he was making his decision,'' Carroll said. ``Nothing definitive has been declared by the NCAA. Some steps would have to be taken for the players to get back into college football.''

    After more than an hour of arguments, the appeals court said the NFL showed it could win its case.

    League lawyer Jeff Pash said simply that the league was ``pleased.'' Clarett's lawyer, Alan Milstein, did not immediately return a telephone message after the appeals court ruling.

    Judge Sonia Sotomayor said it was not surprising that the players' union would agree to exclude players like Clarett.

    ``That's what unions do every day -- protect people in the union from those not in the union,'' she said.

    Clarett led Ohio State to a national title as a freshman but was ruled ineligible as a sophomore for accepting money from a family friend and for lying about it to NCAA and university investigators. Williams declared for the draft after a lower court ruled in Clarett's favor.

    Seven others also declared for the draft after the initial ruling, but none is a prospect.

    Although he was a sophomore last season, Pittsburgh wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald was declared eligible for the draft by the NFL in a separate case.

    U.S. District Court Judge Shira Scheindlin ruled in February that Clarett should be allowed in the draft. She said the rule excluding him violates antitrust law and unjustly blocks a player from pursuing his livelihood.

    If a subsequent ruling makes Clarett eligible, the league could hold a supplemental draft, something it has done for players who entered the draft late since 1977, NFL lawyer Gregg A. Levy said.

    Such prominent players as Bernie Kosar, Brian Bosworth, Rob Moore and Cris Carter were taken in supplemental drafts, with the teams that chose them forfeiting the corresponding draft pick the following year.

    During the hearing, Milstein said he disagreed with the NFL's argument that players such as Clarett are not physically ready for pro football. Williams was expected to be a first-round pick; Clarett was expected to be chosen in the second or third round.

    ``The teams are lining up to hire these guys ... because the teams know these players are ready to play,'' Milstein said.
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    That's the best news I've heard all day. Fuck that little prick. Hope he ends up in arena football for no money.
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    Originally posted by alexpgrimes
    That's the best news I've heard all day. Fuck that little prick. Hope he ends up in arena football for no money.
    Ditto!
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    YOu know that David Stern is watching this very closely...
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    Supreme Court Denies Stay in Clarett Case


    WASHINGTON - Maurice Clarett's bid to enter the NFL draft this weekend was turned down by the Supreme Court on Thursday.



    Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said she saw no reason to overturn a lower court's stay preventing the former Ohio State running back from being picked.


    The 20-year-old Clarett is fighting the NFL's requirement that players wait three years after high school before turning pro.


    The NFL said in a filing with Ginsburg that it could be unfair to the team that picked Clarett, and ultimately to a player who loses out on that spot.


    "Noting the National Football League's commitment promptly to conduct a supplemental draft" if Clarett eventually is determined eligible, Ginsburg said she will not intervene.


    The NFL had said Clarett could participate in training camps this summer, if he wins his case in a lower court.


    Clarett was appealing a stay issued Monday by the New York-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, putting a hold on a lower-court ruling that said the NFL can't enforce its three-year rule.


    The decision was announced in a brief letter to the appeals court. Ginsburg handled the matter because she oversees appeals from New York, which is where the NFL is based.


    Clarett led Ohio State to a national title as a freshman, but was ruled ineligible as a sophomore for accepting money from a family friend and lying about it to NCAA and university investigators.


    Clarett, out of high school two years, would be eligible for the 2005 draft under the current rule.


    The decision also keeps wide receiver Mike Williams of Southern California out of the draft.


    Williams, who entered the draft after the original decision allowing in Clarett, would have been a first-round pick while Clarett likely would have gone in the second or third round.

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    So, can Williams go back to USC now?

    Or will the NCAA be the pricks they usually are and say "fuck you"?

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    In my opinion, he won't have much problem getting back into USC now. The NFL opened the door for him, and now is taking it away.

    Obviously, the dumbass high school kids that declared for the draft arent getting in no matter what, not sure what happens with them, if they hired agents or what.

    I think the NCAA will let Williams back in no sweat if he chooses to go that route under these circumstances.

    This situation sure is bouncing a lot of teams' draft boards around.

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