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Old 05-24-2004   #1
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Default Clarett Out of Supplemental Draft

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Monday, May 24, 2004
ESPN.com news services

NEW YORK -- Maurice Clarett lost yet another court decision in his attempt to play in the NFL next season. An appeals court said Monday that federal labor policy allows NFL teams to set rules for when players can enter the league.

The decision by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was consistent with the appeals court's refusal last month to permit the former Ohio State running back into the NFL draft.

A lower court judge in February ruled Clarett eligible for the draft. It said the NFL was violating federal antitrust laws by blocking Clarett's entry into his profession with a rule barring eligibility until a player was three years out of high school. Clarett is only two years out of high school.

After the appeals court blocked Clarett's entry, saying it believed it would rule against him, the 20-year-old athlete sought help from the U.S. Supreme Court. Two justices turned him down.

On Monday, the appeals court said Clarett was "no different from the typical worker who is confident that he or she has the skills to fill a job vacancy, but does not possess the qualifications or meet the requisite criteria that have been set."

It said ruling in favor of Clarett would be deciding that professional football players were entitled to advantages under federal labor laws that transport workers, coal miners or meat packers do not enjoy.

The draft was held on April 24-25, and Clarett was ineligible for it. This ruling means he will not be eligible for a supplemental draft and will have to wait for the 2005 draft.
Entire story at ESPN
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Old 05-24-2004   #2
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This seems odd to me, although I'm not an anti-trust lawyer.

"On Monday, the appeals court said Clarett was 'no different from the typical worker who is confident that he or she has the skills to fill a job vacancy, but does not possess the qualifications or meet the requisite criteria that have been set.'

It said ruling in favor of Clarett would be deciding that professional football players were entitled to advantages under federal labor laws that transport workers, coal miners or meat packers do not enjoy."

Can coal miners or meat packers be restricted from jobs because of age, if they are 18?

If the league set the criteria that players couldn't be homosexuals, do you think the court would have let it stand?

I thought the point was that the league criteria (years out of high school) was discriminatory.

I laughed at all the people (all of whom benefit from the existing system) who said they thought the 'kids' weren't ready. Age (or years out of high school) is a poor gauge of maturity. It should be left to a free market. If the individual thinks they are ready, they declare (Johnson declared as a jr. Williams waited until he was a sr.). If the individual teams don't think a player is ready, don't draft them, but the teams shouldn't be restrained from drafting them by discriminatory guidelines.

What a fraud. Much younger kids are required to decide which school they go to, or more accurately, do they attend a school where they will actually receive any reasonable kind of education while they play sports. They are not allowed to receive professional advice to make this decision. However they can't be trusted to decide to leave the school and play in the NFL.
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Old 05-25-2004   #3
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Mistral--understand that the ruling is not on the wisdom of the collectively bargained NFL/NFLPA rule, it is on its legality. Properly it is the rule of judges not to make law, but to enforce it. Their sole issue was whether the rule was in conformance with the law. Congress made the laws regarding collective bargaining, etc.that are being applied here. What will be interesting IMO is whether the NFL/NFLPA negotiate a "better" gauge of maturity, etc. on the next go around--believe aj pointed out at some point that the current agreement expires in the next few years.
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Old 05-25-2004   #4
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Originally Posted by ____V____
From: ESPN.com news
On Monday, the appeals court said Clarett was "no different from the typical worker who is confident that he or she has the skills to fill a job vacancy, but does not possess the qualifications or meet the requisite criteria that have been set."
I believe this line supplies the hidden meaning that the court was trying to express. NFL is a private business and they can set the requirements for employment, just like a bank or a major company that requires a certain degree.
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Old 05-25-2004   #5
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Originally Posted by infantrycak
Mistral--understand that the ruling is not on the wisdom of the collectively bargained NFL/NFLPA rule, it is on its legality.
Bold mine.

I'm still confused. My point is that the rule, if discriminatory, should be struck down, whether collectively bargained, or not and whether it is a 'private business', or not.

If a collectively bargained criteria said that all members had to be white, or male, or couldn't be homosexuals, would the courts allow it to stand?

The NFL doesn't require a player to acheive anything in college, like get a degree, or any particular training.

Is age discrimination permitted in the US? Can I say I only want to hire a secretary who is under 25 years old? Can I say I will only rent my apartment to white females under 25 years old? I assume (but I guess I don't know) that all of these activities would be 'illegal' as discriminatory and struck down.
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Old 05-25-2004   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by V Man
I believe this line supplies the hidden meaning that the court was trying to express. NFL is a private business and they can set the requirements for employment, just like a bank or a major company that requires a certain degree.
I would be shocked to learn (but I confess I don't know) that in the U.S. a bank could say it would only hire employees who were white, or male, or under the age of 25.

The NFL doesn't require a player to obtain anything, like a degree, a certificate, or training. It merely imposes a discriminatory (age) standard.
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Old 05-25-2004   #7
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Originally Posted by Mistril48

Is age discrimination permitted in the US? Can I say I only want to hire a secretary who is under 25 years old? Can I say I will only rent my apartment to white females under 25 years old? I assume (but I guess I don't know) that all of these activities would be 'illegal' as discriminatory and struck down.
Yes it is. You can wait on tables if you are 16, but if someone orders a beer, you must get someone who is at least 18 to take it to the table and serve it. So what if the NFL wants their players a certain age, I have no problem with it, it is not hurting the league any. Just because one kid can't keep his nose clean and stay eligible for school, we should stop everything and lay out the red carpet for him. No way, get a job, work for a year and then maybe he will learn to appreciate the gift God gave him and quit screwing around.
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Old 05-25-2004   #8
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Originally Posted by V Man
So what if the NFL wants their players a certain age, I have no problem with it, it is not hurting the league any.
Actually, the NFL does not have an age limit. Clarett was the same age as Emmitt Smith when Emmitt entered the NFL. One guy can work while the other must sit although they are both the same age. The NFL rule is written poorly. They need to change it. It may be legal (collectively bargained rights are very strong in the courts), but it is very self-serving. It is obviously designed to ensure they have an unpaid farm system from the NCAA's.
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Old 05-25-2004   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by V Man
Yes it is. You can wait on tables if you are 16, but if someone orders a beer, you must get someone who is at least 18 to take it to the table and serve it. So what if the NFL wants their players a certain age, I have no problem with it, it is not hurting the league any. Just because one kid can't keep his nose clean and stay eligible for school, we should stop everything and lay out the red carpet for him. No way, get a job, work for a year and then maybe he will learn to appreciate the gift God gave him and quit screwing around.
The government setting an age limit for driving, or drinking, or serving drinks is one thing. A private business setting what amounts to an age limit is another, particularly when the age is above 18.
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Old 05-25-2004   #10
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Mistril-- If you check www.eeoc.gov website. It will talk about the Age Discrimination Act. They only classify age discrimination for someone who is close to retirement age, not an 18 or 19 year old person.
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Old 05-25-2004   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cap1
Mistril-- If you check www.eeoc.gov website. It will talk about the Age Discrimination Act. They only classify age discrimination for someone who is close to retirement age, not an 18 or 19 year old person.


Code:
I took this from thier website:

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) protects individuals who are 40 years of age or older from employment discrimination based on age. The ADEA's protections apply to both employees and job applicants. Under the ADEA, it is unlawful to discriminate against a person because of his/her age with respect to any term, condition, or privilege of employment, including hiring, firing, promotion, layoff, compensation, benefits, job assignments, and training.

It is also unlawful to retaliate against an individual for opposing employment practices that discriminate based on age or for filing an age discrimination charge, testifying, or participating in any way in an investigation, proceeding, or litigation under the ADEA.

The ADEA applies to employers with 20 or more employees, including state and local governments. It also applies to employment agencies and labor organizations, as well as to the federal government. ADEA protections include:
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Old 05-25-2004   #12
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Cap1

Thank you for your post. It still puzzles me that it's only considered discrimination if it's with older people. Surely, it's discrimination either regardless of age. Is this a simply a function of younger people not having the political influence that 'grey power' has.

Are you aware of any other collective bargaining agreements that discriminate against membership solely on the basis of age (although under 40)?
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Old 05-25-2004   #13
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Maurice Clarett (6'0 230 lbs) is 20 years old, same as Emmitt Smith (5'9" 207 lbs) when he was drafted. One guy gets to play, and one guy is considered "too young". Go figure.
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Old 05-25-2004   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by __V__
Maurice Clarett (6'0 230 lbs) is 20 years old, same as Emmitt Smith (5'9" 207 lbs) when he was drafted. One guy gets to play, and one guy is considered "too young". Go figure.
V...I think that is a little off base, I was under the impression that age wasn't a factor, it is the number of years past High School.

There is a lot of talk about how underclass men (ie. JRs) don't suceed as well or have a tougher time making rosters, and amount of time injured...I can't site chapter and verse on the stats but I have seen them thrown around on sports shows recently. I do wonder how many SOPHMORES have come out and what the stats are on them?

One last thing...no matter how much Clarrett thinks he is ready (and he may be ready...I don't know), I am reminded of a sophmore superstar from USC that a lot of people thought was ready too, his name was Todd Marinovich...remember how he turned out?
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Old 05-25-2004   #15
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What's off base? My whole point is that there is no age limit. A 20 year old man is a 20 year old man, College or not. I just don't see the logic in letting one 20 year old in and keeping one out on some arbitrary rule.
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Old 05-25-2004   #16
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I gotcha now V. I think you said it best earlier when you said the NFL rule was simply poorly written. The age is irrelevent and you are right that the NFL is trying to do some mutual back scratching with college football.

I do have to say that no matter what I think of how the NFL and NCAA have gone about this...I have to say that I agree with it. The NFL gets a system to recruit, develop, and scout the best athletes available. The NCAA gets some mileage out this for prestige, recruits, and MONEY. I think a lot of athletes gets something out of the rule as well (believe it or not!); they get some opportunites to go to college when they might not have otherwise.
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Old 05-25-2004   #17
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I understand your position and the courts agree with you so far. This is not very simple situation in my eyes. I have an opinion, but I'm not sure how "right" I am because I have read up (a bit) on collectively bargained rights in the US and the deeper I get, the more confusing this situation seems to be to me.
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Old 05-25-2004   #18
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This is not really unusual. It is just that most of us are not unionized. Unions, i.e. collective bargaining groups of individuals are set up not only to get the most from the employer, but to protect their membership which includes restricting getting the benefits of union membership or competition for the jobs. It is not uncommon for there to be restrictions on time in grade, time as apprentice, etc. for hiring or promotion. The whole thing is outside of ordinary freedom to contract because of the abuses prior to unions in some industries and the depression. Basically there was a very valid reason for the original exceptions/legal rules that some times leads to rules now that don't make sense to many people. As is often the case, it is the responsibility of the legislature to change the laws, not the fault of the judges to make the poplular decision--it ain't their job to make law, just enforce it as currently written.
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Old 05-26-2004   #19
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The rule is not age discrimination, like vinny mentioned some 20year olds are eligible some aren't. The functional part of the rule as it applies to %98 of the draftees and what I think the court was referring to could be paraphrased as: you need to have played/learned/studied college football for three years.

I don't see that being any different then a job posting that reads 'applicants must have 3 years of experience to be eligible for this high paying job.' Using the years out of high school stat just allows for the rare exceptions that come up. These guys don't have a right to play in the NFL, they do have the right to apply and be fairly considered--once they meet the necessary requirements.
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Old 05-26-2004   #20
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One thing I will mention is that while I agree with the courts denial of Clarrett's appeal, I think that Mike Williams might be getting the bad end of this. He did the smart thing and at least waited until the initial ruling favoring Clarrett came down before "professionalizing" himself. I would have been ok with him in the supplemental if the NCAA loses it's mind and won't let him play.

Another thing...I didn't realize until a few days a go that there were 5 or 6 OTHER guys who followed the Mike Williams route, including a couple HS kids! I wonder what that does for their chances to play in the college ranks; I also wonder why someone hasn't slapped down their parents for going along with this...no one makes this kind of decision in a vacuum.
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