INDIANAPOLIS -- The NCAA filed a legal brief Monday in
support of the NFL's appeal to keep former Ohio State running back
Maurice Clarett out of the draft.
President Myles Brand said that college sports' largest
governing body asked the federal appeals court to consider six
points regarding antitrust legislation before issuing a decision.
The points were not cited in the statement.
The court will hear the dispute over whether Clarett can enter
the NFL draft less than a week before its April 24 start.
The NFL has asked the court to overturn a lower court ruling
that said the league's rule that a player must be out of high
school three years for draft eligibility violated antitrust law.
Clarett announced his intention to enter the draft after U.S.
District Judge Shira Scheindlin in February tossed out the league
rule. Clarett played at Ohio State and won a national championship
his freshman season but was suspended last year.
Brand said the NCAA was supporting the NFL not because of its
economic interests but rather that it would lead more college
athletes to make poor decisions.
"If not reversed, this decision is likely to unrealistically
raise expectations and hopes that a professional football career
awaits graduation from high school and that education can therefore
be abandoned," Brand said. "The result could be a growing group
of young men who end up with neither a professional football career
nor an education that will support their life plans."
Only one other major college player, Southern California wide
receiver Mike Williams, took advantage of the ruling and decided to
enter this year's draft. Six high school players and one junior
college player also applied for the draft.