Well, it looks like it is certain now that Maurice Clarett will be in this year’s NFL draft. Quick background for you non-football folks. This guy was a pretty impressive talent his freshman year at Ohio State. Since then, he has gotten into all sorts of trouble, and been kicked off their team. By the NFL’s current rules, he was still too young to enter the draft, but he sued, and won, based on antitrust rules. This is bad for the NFL, and for college football, as it opens the door for more underclassmen to enter the draft. An excellent example of how this could gut college football can currently be found in the college basketball arena. NBA teams now draft players based on potential, even if they are not currently ready to play at the NBA level. The college basketball landscape is virtually devoid of stars now, because players are going to the NBA straight out of high school. The NFL will almost surely suffer the same fate over time. This will be complicated by the small size of the NFL roster and the amount of injuries that occur in a season. NFL teams cannot generally afford to have roster spots being taken up by players not yet ready to play at the NFL level.
In essence, Clarett had nowhere else to go, and no other choice but to sue the NFL, but he has opened up a pandora’s box tha the NFL has managed to keep closed for a very long time. I despise the long term effects his actions will have. I hope that no NFL team drafts him, although I know that that will not happen. I will not attend a game in which he plays, nor will I watch one, or even the highlights of one, on TV. I may decide, also, to boycott whichever franchise drafts him. I can’t really have my say in this matter in any other way.