View Full Version : Federal judge declares Clarett eligible for draft

02-05-2004, 03:20 PM
New York, NY - A federal judge has ruled suspended Ohio State running back Maurice Clarett eligible for the NFL Draft, stating a violation of antitrust laws.

Clarett, who recently declined an offer to continue working out with the Buckeyes, was granted permission to enter the upcoming April draft by U.S.

District Judge Shira A. Scheindlin. The National Football League, however, is expected to challenge the decision.

NFL rules currently deny players the option to enter the NFL Draft until they are three years removed from completion of high school. Last summer, Clarett challenged the rule when he sued the NFL.

If the ruling is upheld it would change the current landscape of college football. Many talented teenagers would most likely follow in Clarett's footsteps, passing on opportunities to further their education while refining their athletic skills.

"We believe today's ruling is inconsistent in numerous respects with well- established labor and antitrust laws, and we will seek review of the ruling in the Court of Appeals. We fully expect our eligibility rule to be upheld when this case is concluded," a league spokesman said in a written statement.

As a freshman at Ohio State in 2002, Clarett helped the Buckeyes to a national championship. He set school freshman records with 1,237 yards rushing and 16 touchdowns.

However, he was forced to the sidelines this past season after getting suspended indefinitely by the NCAA for lying to the university and NCAA investigators about receiving improper benefits.