Super Bowl

Tailbacks Just Want To Be Free


The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a stay yesterday that prevents former Ohio State running back Maurice Clarett from entering the upcoming National Football League draft while the court weighs its review of Clarett's attempt to rip up the weird rule that says players can't go pro until three years after graduating from high school. This reaction from NFL lawyer Gregg Levy caught my eye:

He said the way the appeals court was leaning was consistent with labor law that protects bargaining rights in many professions.

"Thank goodness that employers and their unions can agree on eligibility requirements for pilots, nurses, truckers and other skilled laborers and have the opportunity to bargain collectively over those issues," he said.

Sure, except that tailbacks aren't exactly flying planes, saving lives, or driving dangerous equipment while hopped up on pills. Forcing 18-year-old football players to attend college and make millions for their schools without being paid strikes me as one of the less seemly arrangements in the wide world of sports.