Sports Law Blog
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Monday, March 22, 2004

NFL Seeks to Avoid Another Clarett Situation: The NFL and the NFL Players Association have begun working together to insert language in the current collective bargaining agreement that would require all draft-eligible players to be three years removed from their high school graduation. One source quoted on said, "The league doesn't want this to ever happen again, and neither does the union. What Clarett and the other guys got was a one-time deal."

This move is intended to prevent another legal challenge by a player in the wake of the Clarett decision. However, there is still a chance that Clarett will be overturned on appeal. Tulane law professor Gary Roberts has strong words about the district court ruling:

    "Employers and unions have these entry requirements and collective-bargaining agreements all the time. The decision Judge Scheindlin made is just wrong. It's just so foolish that she would rule otherwise. Any labor lawyer in the country would agree."

As I noted in my earlier analysis of the case, players are not barred absolutely from entering the profession, as Judge Scheindlin claimed. Rather, every player is able to enter three years after the graduation of their high school class, and at that time reaps the benefits of the collective bargaining agreement made on their behalf.