ESPN / SportsTicker
NEW YORK - A federal appeals court on Monday barred Ohio State running back Maurice Clarett from entering Saturday's NFL draft, overturning a ruling by a lower court.
In February, Clarett was declared eligible for the NFL draft by U.S. District Judge Shira A. Scheindlin, who ruled the league violated anti-trust laws. She later refused to suspend the ruling.
As part of the league's collective bargaining agreement, NFL rules stipulate that players must be out of high school three years to be eligible for the draft. But Clarett challenged the rule in a September 23 lawsuit.
Clarett ran for 1,327 yards and helped the Buckeyes capture a national championship as a freshman in 2002. But he was suspended by the school prior to the 2003 season for accepting improper benefits from a family friend, then lying to investigators.
On Monday, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the NFL has "demonstrated a likelihood of success on the merits" in claiming that Clarett and others - like Southern California receiver Mike Williams - should not be allowed to enter the draft early.
"We are grateful for the prompt attention the court has given to this matter and we await its decision on the merits," the league said in a statement.