SportsTicker wrote:HOUSTON (Ticker) - The NFL draft eligibility rule and the designer steroid THG will be among the topics commissioner Paul Tagliabue will address Friday in his annual Super Bowl news conference.
Judge Shira Scheindlin is expected to decide within the next three weeks on the landmark challenge of the NFL's draft eligibility rule by Ohio State running back Maurice Clarett. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in New York, claims the league's rule that a player must be three years removed from high school to be eligible for the draft violates antitrust regulations.
The NFL argues that, as part of its by-laws, the three years out of high school stipulation is incorporated into its collective bargaining agreement and therefore exempt from antitrust rules.
However, the NFL is looking into the case of Pittsburgh sophomore receiver Larry Fitzgerald, the 2003 Heisman Trophy runner-up. Fitzgerald has requested entry in the April draft, claiming he meets the three-year rule because he attended prep school for a year after leaving high school.
The NFL will begin suspending players who test positive for the banned steroid tetrahydrogestrinone next season. The typical penalty for a first violation of the NFL's anabolic steroids policy is a four-week suspension.
The continued use of instant replay, progress in the league's minority hiring practices and the launch of the NFL Network will also be discussed.