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Clarett sues NFL
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Old 23 Sep 2003, 06:02 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Clarett sues NFL

NEW YORK -- Suspended Ohio State tailback Maurice Clarett sued the NFL on Tuesday, asking a judge to throw out a league rule preventing players from entering the draft until they have been out of high school three years.

Clarett, who rushed for 1,237 yards and led Ohio State to a national championship last year as a freshman, is not eligible for the draft until 2005 under current rules.

The suit, filed in Manhattan federal court, claims the NFL rule violates antitrust law because it is separate from the NFL's current collective bargaining agreement with its players union.

"The rule is a restraint of amateur athletes who were strangers to the collective bargaining process," the suit says.

Greg Aiello, the NFL's vice president of public relations, said that the league had hoped that Monday's meeting would have led to more discussion.

"We expected to have an opportunity to respond after last night's meeting and are disappointed that we were not permitted to do so," he said in a statement released by the NFL. "We do not believe that this lawsuit serves the best interests of Maurice Clarett or college football players generally, but we look forward to explaining to the court both the very sound reasons underlying our eligibility rule and the legal impediments to the claim that was filed."

The NFL Players' Association issued a statement saying it will not support Clarett's lawsuit.

"Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between the NFL and the NFLPA, the NFLPA has agreed that, during the term of the CBA, it will not sue or support any suit against the terms of the college draft that are included in the NFL Constitution and Bylaws," the statement read. "As a result, the NFLPA cannot take any position with respect to Mr. Clarett's lawsuit."

Clarett is suspended from the Ohio State team for at least a year after an investigation determined he had broken NCAA bylaws concerning benefits for athletes and lying to investigators.

Clarett's attorney, Alan C. Milstein, told ESPN's Dan Patrick on Tuesday that Clarett should be in attendance when classes begin Wednesday at Ohio State.

Clarett claims it was "almost certain" he would have been taken in the first round of the 2003 draft had he been eligible, and would have made millions of dollars in a contract and signing bonus.

Milstein filed the suit a day after he met with NFL executives in Washington to discuss whether Clarett would be eligible for the 2004 draft.

Aiello characterized it as "an exchange of views and it was a good discussion" and said the league "would get back to them."

Milstein did not immediately return a call for comment Tuesday.

The lawsuit asks U.S. District Judge Shira A. Scheindlin to throw out the rule and declare Clarett eligible for the 2004 draft -- or require the NFL to hold a special supplemental draft sooner.

The suit also points out the NFL is the only major sport with the three-year requirement.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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Old 23 Sep 2003, 06:42 PM   #2 (permalink)
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This guy needs to shut his mouth, rules are rules.

Wait like everyone else does.
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Old 25 Sep 2003, 12:38 AM   #3 (permalink)
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If you're a fan of college or pro football you have to hope Clarett loses this self-serving venture. He is acting as if the NFL is doing him an injustice by enforcing this 13 year old rule that every other college athlete before him had to abide by. If Clarett wins the ramifications would be enormus affecting not one person but college football, the NFL, and the relationship the NCAA and the NFL has. The cooperation between the NFL and NCAA is envied by the other leagues but it could be severely damaged if Clarett wins. Look at college basketball and the NBA for example. They both have been hurt by the continuous entry of underclassmen and high school players. The talent pool in college basketball has to be replenished yearly forcing coaches to emphasize winning over teaching. Under developed players who jump to the NBA(if the even make it at all)lack the fundamentals and maturity of their predecessors. As a result more teams are drafting European players who have honed their skills as teenagers. You'll see a bevy of college football players talked or pressured into turning pro who shouldn't a pattern well established in basketball. Now somehow even if Clarett wins and is eligible for the 2004 draft he would be a risky pick. He was hurt much of his freshman year and now there are character issues to be considered. Clarett caused his own problems by lying to investigators. Now he's about to cause problems that could seriously damage the future of college and pro football.
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Old 25 Sep 2003, 11:47 AM   #4 (permalink)
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if Clarett wins, look out NFL....the NBA has had highschoolers for a while now and has gone to crap. the NFL would do the same....Clarett needs to just wait his turn. I hope he loses, for the good of the game.
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Old 25 Sep 2003, 02:14 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally posted by oeo
if Clarett wins, look out NFL....the NBA has had highschoolers for a while now and has gone to crap. the NFL would do the same....Clarett needs to just wait his turn. I hope he loses, for the good of the game.
This has nothing to do with highschoolers playing in the NFL.
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