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Latest on Mike Williams

Postby JrcWy » Wed Jun 02, 2004 1:28 pm

Article from NBCSports.com

Heisman Trophy runnerup Mike Williams, who along with Maurice Clarett failed to become eligible for the NFL draft in April, will announce that he intends to return to USC to play his junior season, the Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday.

Agent Mike Azzarelli told the Times he would not pursue legal action against the NFL to allow Williams into the league.

"At this point, the best thing for him to do is pursue reinstatement," Azzarelli told the newspaper.

Williams, and All-American, declared himself eligible for the NFL draft and hired Azzarelli in February, thus forfeiting his final two seasons at USC. Williams made the move after a U.S. district judge ruled that former Clarett and all underclassmen were eligible for the draft.

However, the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals issued a stay on the earlier ruling and ultimately overturned it May 24.

Williams filed a lawsuit in federal court in Manhattan, saying the NFL issued conflicting statements about eligibility for the draft, thus causing him to sacrifice his college career.

In order for USC to apply to the NCAA for Williams' reinstatement, the star must prove that he has severed ties with Azzarelli and that he has repaid all benefits.

Williams was projected as a high first-round pick, while Clarett might not have been taken until the second or third round.

The 6-foot-5, 230-pound Williams had two years of eligibility remaining for the defending national champion Trojans. He said after USC beat Michigan in the Rose Bowl he planned to stay in school, but then came the Clarett ruling.

Although Clarett never announced he hired an agent, there have been reports he did. He was never cleared by Ohio State or the NCAA to play after being suspended last year for accepting money from a family friend and for lying about it to NCAA and university investigators.

Williams caught 95 passes for 1,314 yards and a school-record 16 touchdowns as the Trojans (12-1) won The Associated Press national championship.

As a freshman, he caught 81 passes for 1,265 yards and 13 TDs from Heisman Trophy winner Carson Palmer in 2002.


NCAA has made exceptions in special circumstances before (allowing the Olympic skier/Colorado Receiver to play if he met specific stipulations). I expect Williams to be back in a USC jersey for one more go around. Not good news for my WSU Cougars...
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Postby NittanyLions » Wed Jun 02, 2004 2:07 pm

I think this was a good thing. Not smart of him to already get an agent, but Clarret led him on
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Postby SwiperNoSwiping » Wed Jun 02, 2004 7:10 pm

I sure hope he can get back into USC. It stinks he was led to believe the could get to the NFL, and then told he couldn't.
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Postby smackthefirst » Wed Jun 02, 2004 7:30 pm

Come on guys, he'll get back into USC. If for no other reason than the NFL wants him there.

The NFL knows it has a good thing by keeping players in college, and the NCAA knows its making money off all these players that could be drafted.

If nothing else, the NFL will surely exert a little pressure on the NCAA to let him back in.
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Postby footballfreak449 » Wed Jun 02, 2004 7:43 pm

I gotta believe he is going back, and I hope he does because I'm a big fan of his. ;-D
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Postby CKY_ROX » Wed Jun 02, 2004 8:10 pm

that would suck really hard for him if they didnt let him back in, the NFL better pressure them inot taking him back, i dont even think that it shuold be so much of an issue, common the guy thought he cuold go to the NFL so he did something then the ruling was overturned and his decision to hire an agent shuold also be overtuned . LET THE KID BACK IN.
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Postby KPucks » Thu Jun 03, 2004 5:38 am

If he can't get back into the NCAA, the NFL is going to be in some trouble b/c Williams would have a case that he was irreparbably (sp?) harmed by their decision, which means he could go to the supplemental draft.
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Postby Free Bagel » Thu Jun 03, 2004 6:52 am

Blah blah blippidy blah. The guy wasn't led to believe anything. He was explicitly told that by hiring and agent he was taking an exhaustive risk because the decision to allow him into the NFL could be reversed.

Bottom line is that the kid got overly greedy. Not that he left early to get his payday faster, but that he put it all on the line by hiring an agent so the agent could improve his marketability and maybe increase his stock by a couple draft spots.

Even Fitzgerald waited until a few days before the draft to hire an agent, and he was in a less precocious situation than Williams in the first place.

Hiring the agent was just greedy and stupid when he KNEW very explicitly the risk involved. In essence, in trying to get a couple hundred thousand extra by maybe gaining a spot or two in the draft, he cost himself millions.

He took a risk knowing very well the implications it could have. It didn't pay off, so let him rot on the sidelines for a year.
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