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Monday, December 15, 2003

Update on Clarett Trial: ESPN's Tom Farrey reports that Maurice Clarett may have found a loophole in the NFL's three-year rule. Clarett claims that since he graduated in December of 2001, prior to the conclusion of the 2001 NFL season, he claims now that 3 NFL seasons will be completed since his graduation, making him eligible for the NFL draft in April. The NFL, of course, takes a different interpretation of the rule, saying that it only counts seasons that began after the player had graduated from high school.

This also raises the question of the legitimacy of the rule, which does not appear in the league's Collective Bargaining Agreement, and thus, may not be exempt from antitrust laws.

But, as the LA Daily News writes, Clarett is up against an organization that is determined not to open the floodgates to underclassmen and has the resources to outlast any legal challenges. The question then becomes- how many challenges can the league withstand? Larry Fitzgerald, the star sophomore wide receiver at Pittsburgh who finished second in the Heisman balloting, has also discussed the possibility of entering the NFL draft.

You can view the text of the Clarett complaint here.


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