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Football Star's High Court Blitz

Maurice Clarett filed an emergency appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday to try to force his way into the NFL draft.

Clarett's attorney, Alan C. Milstein, filed papers on Tuesday to seek a stay of a decision by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals preventing the former Ohio State tailback from entering this weekend's draft.

Monday's decision put on hold a lower-court ruling that had overturned the NFL's rule preventing players from entering the draft until three years after their high school class graduated.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will handle the case.

Clarett argues in the appeal that the NFL would not suffer any harm if he is allowed in the draft and that he would be harmed if he is blocked. He also said the NFL failed to demonstrate it will be successful it is likely to succeed in arguing that college underclassmen should not be allowed to turn pro, a reason the appeals court cited in blocking him from the draft.

Keeping Clarett out of the draft hurts the public interest, the appeal said.

"If the stay is not lifted, it will prevent Clarett and another underclassman, University of Southern California sophomore Mike Williams, from entering the draft this weekend, causing them to suffer substantial, irreparable harm," the appeal said.

The NFL said the Supreme Court appeal has little chance of success.

"There was ample support for the ruling of the 2nd Circuit, which thoroughly considered and completely rejected the arguments that Mr. Clarett's lawyers have presented to the Supreme Court," NFL Executive Vice President Jeff Pash said.

Clarett, 20, rushed for 1,237 yards and scored 16 touchdowns as a freshman in 2002, leading the Buckeyes to the national championship. He was suspended before the 2003 season for accepting money from a family friend and lying about it to investigators from Ohio State and the NCAA.

He then began a legal challenge to force the NFL to admit him to the draft, winning in U.S. District Court in February. Clarett, who has been out of high school two years, would be eligible for the draft next year under the current rule.

Clarett dropped out of classes at Ohio State after the winter quarter. He declined to work out for scouts at the NFL's combine in Indianapolis in February, but he ran, lifted and jumped for them on April 5 at Ohio State's Woody Hayes Athletic Center.

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