Barnett, Lee have to sit out next camp

Two of the Packers top draft picks -- who are also former Oregon State teammates -- will have to sit out the early June minicamp due to NFL rules, Packer Head Coach/GM Mike Sherman announced.<P> Nick Barnett and James Lee cannot participate because an NFL rule prohibits rookies from attending more than one minicamp when their college is still in session. Oregon State follows a quarter system which lasts well into June.<P>

"The situation is what it is," Sherman said following the close of the Packers' post-draft minicamp Sunday. "They can't leave until their graduating class graduates. Those are the rules, so I don't worry about rules that are made that we have to abide by. That's just the way it is.

"Our coaches will spend a lot of time with them this summer, and we'll get them ready as much as we can."

That's not as easy as it sounds. Under NFL rules, linebacker Barnett and defensive lineman Lee will next be permitted back in practice at training camp in mid-July. To solve the dilemma, the Packers have arranged for the players to spend the interval in a workout program in Corvallis, Ore.

The same thing happened with UCLA's Marques Anderson last season.

Sherman isn't worried about the players' progress, he said.

"(Barnett's ability to make big plays time and time again showed up," Sherman said of the first camp. "But, we have to see that with that with the pads on and people coming at him with live bullets."

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