Clarett#039;s attorney talks to NFL

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 23, 2003

COLUMBUS - The attorney for suspended Ohio State tailback Maurice Clarett met with NFL executives Monday in Washington to discuss whether he will be able to enter the 2004 draft.

Attorney Alan C. Milstein and Clarett's mother, Michelle, met for about an hour with NFL executives, said NFL spokesman Greg Aiello.

''It was an exchange of views and it was a good discussion,'' Aiello said. ''We told them we would get back to them.''

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Aiello said Clarett didn't attend the meeting and declined further comment on the discussions. Aiello said earlier Monday the subject of the meeting was ''to discuss his (Clarett's) status in next year's draft.''

NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue said last week that Clarett and Milstein had asked to meet with the league about changing its rules to permit Clarett to be drafted in 2004.

The NFL bars anyone from being available for the draft before they have been out of high school for three years. Clarett rushed for 1,237 yards and scored 18 touchdowns a year ago as a freshman while leading Ohio State to its first national championship since 1968. Under the NFL's present rule, he would not be eligible to be drafted until 2005.

Clarett is suspended from the Ohio State team for at least a year after an investigation determined he had broken NCAA bylaws concerning benefits for athletes and lying to investigators.

Milstein did not immediately return telephone messages requesting comment Monday night.

The NFL was represented by Harold Henderson and Jeff Pash, league executive vice presidents. Henderson oversees labor relations and is chairman of the NFL Management Council's executive committee. Pash is the league's chief counsel.