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Clarett to be in 2004 NFL draft - Yahoo!

Discussion in 'Football: NFL, College, High School' started by pariah, Feb 5, 2004.

  1. pariah

    pariah Contributing Member

    Oct 28, 2003
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    Judge Says Clarett Can Be in NFL Draft

    By LARRY NEUMEISTER, Associated Press Writer

    NEW YORK - Suspended Ohio State running back Maurice Clarett was ruled eligible for the NFL draft Thursday by a federal judge who concluded that the league's rule violates antitrust laws.

    U.S. District Judge Shira A. Scheindlin ordered the NFL to let Clarett enter April's draft.

    Clarett, 20, played just one season at Ohio State, leading the Buckeyes to the 2002 national championship. He was barred from playing in the 2003 season for accepting improper benefits from a family friend and then lying about it to investigators.

    Clarett sued the NFL last summer to challenge the league rule that a player must be out of high school three years for draft eligibility. Thursday's ruling, if not successfully appealed, could allow teenage football stars to take advantage of the marketing and business opportunities available to young athletes in other sports.

    Alan C. Milstein, a lawyer for Clarett, called the decision "a total victory" and said Clarett "was thrilled." Clarett was traveling to New York for a news conference later Thursday, Milstein said.

    The NFL and its lawyers did not immediately respond to telephone messages, though an aide in the league office indicated a statement would be released later Thursday.

    The league had argued that Clarett should not be eligible because its rule resulted from a collective bargaining agreement with the players and is immune from antitrust scrutiny. The NFL also argued that its rule is reasonable and that Clarett cannot bring such a lawsuit.

    "While, ordinarily, the best offense is a good defense, none of these defenses hold the line," the judge wrote in a 70-page ruling.

    She said Clarett could bring the lawsuit because he was fighting a policy that excludes all players in his position from selling their services to the only viable buyer — the NFL.

    "The NFL has not justified Clarett's exclusion by demonstrating that the rule enhances competition. Indeed, Clarett has alleged the very type of injury — a complete bar to entry into the market for this services — that the antitrust laws are designed to prevent," she said.

    Clarett's lawyers had called the NFL's rule arbitrary and anticompetitive, arguing it robbed players like Clarett of an opportunity to enter the multimillion dollar marketplace.

    The lawyers cited a court ruling letting baseball players move among teams, and other court decisions opening up the NBA, NHL and now-defunct USFL to younger players.

    Clarett rushed for 1,237 yards as a freshman. Current NFL rules would prevent him from entering the draft until 2005.

    The court ruling comes a day after Ohio State said it is investigating a report that a benefactor of Clarett's was gambling while in daily contact with the star running back.

    Athletic director Andy Geiger said Wednesday he was "obviously concerned" about the allegations against Bobby Dellimuti, who calls himself a father figure and friend of the Clarett family.

    "We will look into this matter and will support and cooperate with any and all investigations," Geiger said.

    On Thursday, Scheindlin said the league's justifications for its rule "boil down to the same basic concern: younger players are not physically or mentally ready to play in the NFL."


    Yet, the judge said, less restrictive alternatives are available, such as testing each player's physical and psychological maturity.

    "Age is obviously a poor proxy for NFL-readiness, as is restriction based solely on height or weight," she said.

    Scheindlin suggested NFL maturity tests could provide valuable information to teams deciding on draft selections.

    "In such a scenario, no player would be automatically excluded from the market and each team could decide what level of risk it is willing to tolerate," she wrote.

    interesting twist! By chance did our 10 just became a 9?
  2. tierre_brown

    tierre_brown Contributing Member

    Jun 22, 2003
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    I don't like this ruling at all. College football is what it is because of the 3 years removed rule. I'm an OSU fan, but I want this whiny little kid to fall flat on his face. He doesn't deserve to be playing with real men if he doesn't know how to act like one.
  3. PhiSlammaJamma

    Aug 29, 1999
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    Solid replacement for OSU's own Eddie George.
  4. tigereye

    tigereye Member

    Jun 23, 2002
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    This is great news for the Texans..........

    With the additions of Clarett and Fitzgerald to the draft, the chances of the best defensive players like Keneche Udeze, Sean Taylor, and Tommy Harris slipping down to the 10 pick become greater of happening.

    And plus, the stocks of Steven Jackson and KII are rising toward the top 10 too.

    Let all of the top offensive talent bombard the top 10 picks........so the best, most talented defenders can come to us.
  5. spence99

    spence99 Member

    Feb 15, 1999
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    I'm not so sure Clarett would be a top 10 pick. He didn't play last year, was injury prone his first year, and definitely has character issues. I don't think he would be a top 10 pick, so I don't think this affects the Texans.
  6. Castor27

    Castor27 Moderator
    Staff Member

    Jan 17, 2001
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    moved this from the ACT forum. It nbeeds to be merged with the other one.
  7. RocketFan007

    RocketFan007 Contributing Member

    Jan 2, 2001
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    Those of you who think Clarett will be a top 10 pick are smoking crack. He might go in the first round.
  8. AlexVanderpool

    Jun 11, 2003
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    Clarett wont be a top 10 pick and probably wont be a 1st rounder...

    I see him going mid to late 2nd round, pending combine results...

    This is a sad day for both the NFL and NCAAs, as this may open up the flood gates and make the NFL the highschool camp that the NBA has become and turn college football into the watered-down bore that college basketball ahs become...
  9. Harrisment

    Harrisment i had suffice

    Jun 20, 2001
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    The NFL is going to appeal this decision. I'll be surprised if Clarett is actually in the draft.....I really hope he isn't, just for the reasons that Alex pointed out.
  10. drapg

    drapg Member

    Mar 18, 2002
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    As much as I've heard this, I don't know if I necessarily agree with it.

    The NFL is nothing like the NBA. Sure guys take a pounding from time to time, when getting knocked around the paint by Shaq's derriere. But the NFL requires athletes to be able to take a physical beating on a constant basis.

    How many teenagers have the body to withstand the aftereffects, of ultimately, a 40-mph car crash every minute for 60 minutes? Look at most of the high school guys that came straight from the NBA (besides the anomaly known as LeBron). All of them were gangly and skinny, and took several years to fill out.

    I think the same will apply for potential teenaged football players attempting to go pro. They just won't have the body to succeed. And after a few years of failure, they will have taken a psychological beating and may never fully recover, though their bodies may have finally developed (see Kwame Brown).

    My thinking is that a few guys like Clarett will declare, and ultimately play, for the NFL. They'll get a chance to start, but become either injury prone or just won't succeed. NFL GMs will notice the trend and start to draft teenagers in lower rounds. This fact, coupled with the televised weekly beatings suffered by teenaged football players will cause the number of underclassmen declaring for the draft to dwindle to micrscopic numbers within 10 years.

    Of course, I could be totally wrong and the NFL could become the NBA... but I just can't see it happening.
  11. Chump

    Chump Member

    Nov 10, 2003
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    it would cool if all the NFL teams would conspire to not pick Clarett at all.

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