On February 5th, 2004, NFL Executive Vice President Jeff Patch held a press conference on the Maurice Clarett lawsuit that has tried to make him and any college underclassmen eligible for the NFL Draft.
Listen to the Maurice Clarett Lawsuit Press Conference
Ohio State running back Maurice Clarett’s lawsuit against the NFL involving the eligibility rule was decided today. The judge rejected the NFL’s legal defenses that the NFL had put the principles on the eligibility rule. The judge ruled that Maurice Clarett would be eligible for the 2004 NFL draft and that were was no sound basis to preclude him from being eligible in the NFL draft. NFL Executive Vice President Jeff Pash is hoping in the appeal that the eligibility rule is protected by the collective bargaining agreement. If the decision stays in tact then it will open the doors for underclassmen college athletes to leave early and enter the NFL draft. Jeff Pash held a press conference discussing the lawsuit and appeal where I had the opportunity to ask about the lawsuit.
With the NFL draft coming up in April, the appeal process and decision might take longer then April to be reached. If there is not a decision reached on the appeal by the NFL Draft, than Maurice Clarett would be eligible for the 2004 NFL Draft, correct?
“Well, I think it is unlikely that we would get a decision from the appeals court between now and the NFL draft. I can’t absolutely rule that out, but just in the ordinary course the appeal process takes a number of months, which is longer then we have to the later part of April. If there is not a change, than Maurice Clarett would be able to be drafted in April.”