End of the line?

After what looked like a "shoe-in" entry for last April's draft, Maurice Clarett lost yet another bid to play in the NFL this season. In what was a major setback for both Clarett and USC sophomore receiver Mike Williams, a federal appeals court ruled Monday that federal labor policy permits NFL teams to set rules for when players can enter the league.

A lower court judge originally ruled Clarett eligible for the draft, which garnered him an invitation to last February's NFL combine and temporarily opened the door for otherwise ineligible underclassmen to enter the draft.

Then an appeals court ruled in favor of the NFL, blocking Clarett's entry into the draft.  A pair of U.S. Supreme Court justices refused to hear the case just days before the April 24th event.

The ruling means the league does not have to hold a supplemental draft for either Clarett or Williams and if one takes place this July, the NFL is not required to invite either to participate. 

Clarett's lawyer Alan Milstein will file a motion for the case to be heard before the U.S. Court of Appeals while Mike Williams agent, Michael Azzarelli, will file a separate lawsuit against NFL.

Since Clarett has yet to sign with an agent he could return to play college football this season, assuming the NCAA clears him and a program accepts him.  It may be much more difficult for Williams, who signed on with Azzarelli.

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