S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan issued a stay of federal judge Shira Scheindlin's ruling. "The appellant has demonstrated a likelihood of success on the merits" when the appeals court issues its ruling, the panel wrote. There was no indication yesterday when that decision will be rendered. Clarett, a running back from Ohio State, was not expected to be any higher than a third-round pick. He helped the Buckeyes win the national championship in his freshman season, but was suspended by Ohio State for the '03 season for accepting improper benefits from a family friend and then lying about it to investigators. He sued on Sept. 23 to be included in this year's NFL draft. When the initial ruling went in Clarett's favor, the NFL issued new draft eligibility guidelines to include those who did not previously qualify. It did warn players that a stay could change things. The league's first attempt at a stay was denied by Scheindlin. Clarett and Williams, a sophomore wide receiver from Southern Cal, applied by the new March 1 deadline. So did a junior college player and six high school players. Williams was expected to be a mid-first round pick, although one general manager said yesterday he had him as a second-rounder on his draft board. None of the others was going to be drafted. Clarett's attorney, Alan Milstein, did not return phone calls after the stay was issued. Neither did attorneys for Williams, who yesterday - before the stay was issued - filed a lawsuit in federal court on Williams' behalf to get him in this draft. If the appeals court ultimately rules for Clarett, which doesn't seem likely, the NFL has said it then will hold a supplemental draft. That carried great weight with the three-judge panel, which said it "mitigates any harm to the appellee in the event of his ultimately prevailing in this appeal.
Source : http://www.nydailynews.com/archives/sports/clarett-ruled-draft-nfl-3-year-rule-back-for-article-1.600701