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[College Football] Clarett Shut out of Draft


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Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- Maurice Clarett's bid to enter the NFL draft this weekend was turned down by the Supreme Court on Thursday, delaying for now his attempt to get into the league.

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.

Ginsburg said she would not intervene given the NFL's "commitment promptly to conduct a supplemental draft" if Clarett eventually is determined eligible.

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

"Today's decision confirms the judgment of the court of appeals and allows us to turn our focus from the courtroom to the draft room," Jeff Pash, the NFL's in-house attorney, said in a statement.

Calls to Clarett's attorney were not immediately returned.

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.

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

Ginsburg issued the decision 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.

Clarett's attorney, Alan Milstein, had told Ginsburg the player would "suffer substantial irreparable injury" if he was not allowed in the draft.

Clarett could refile his request with another justice, but the outcome likely would not be different.

Most emergency appeals are rejected by the court.

Ohio State coach Jim Tressel had said it was "far-fetched" that Clarett would return to play for the Buckeyes. He dropped out of classes at Ohio State after the winter quarter.

"From an academic standpoint, unless the NCAA really changes its posture about academics, I think it would be difficult," Tressel said.

Source: Clarett Shut out of Draft

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I feel sorry more for Mike Williams than Clarett. He joined the draft thinking he could work it out but I guess this ruling puts the stop on joining the draft.

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I think Williams will be able to get back into college to play if the ruling stands. I'm glad that Clarett won't be able to part of the draft.

Me too....the punk needs another year to let his skills decline. haha

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im just really upset that the decision came so 'last minute'

you think, for there to be such a large ruling, that they would take care of it at another time instead of a week before the draft.

teams, scouts, players spent time watching these talents, to have them declared ineligible 6 days before the draft.

clarett should be allowed to play the game if he wants. if he wants to have no college education and risk a career ending injury so soon in his career... let him.

f the system.

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I concur 100%

they got screwed by the system dude.

seriously, how can you overturn that decision with one week left until the draft.

to me, that seems like something the league needs to agree on...

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I am from the Buckeye state and a devoted fan. This is my take on this story.

You have a kid "yes a kid" make a mistake and could have become a young man with an apology for his actions while accepting his punishment and return to school for his education. Come back the following year and play Football. That is what a man would do.

But no, he turned into a punk a$$ thug and tried to find an easy way out for his mistake. The NFL has a rule and it is their league to make up the rules. Not everyone has a chance to play in the NFL do to "lack of talent, size, speed, etc". It is not an equal opportunity employer. They have rules and I am glad to see those money-grubbing lawyers, brats, and thugs, did not get it changed.

As for Mike Williams, he does not fit the criteria for being eligible to enter the NFL draft. It just showed his ignorance and greed for going up against their rules.

When and where does it stop people? Without rules there would be absolute chaos and the world would not survive.

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I doubt Maurice Clarett will ever play NFL. He might be on a team but after a week on the team his real personality will show and he will be sixth team water boy!!!

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