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Clarett, 20, played just one season at Ohio State, leading the Buckeyes to the 2002 national championship. He was barred from playing in the 2003 season for accepting improper benefits from a family friend and then lying about it to investigators.
Clarett sued the NFL last summer to challenge the league rule that a player must be out of high school three years for draft eligibility. Thursday's ruling, if not successfully appealed, could allow teenage football stars to take advantage of the marketing and business opportunities available to young athletes in other sports.