The NCAA likely would have to set aside current academic policy to allow Ohio State running back Maurice Clarett and USC wide receiver Mike Williams to play next season should the U.S. Supreme Court rule them ineligible for the NFL draft, Arizona State assistant athletic director Jean Boyd said.
"I would think the NCAA would be forced to make some kind of accommodation for their situation," Boyd said. "This situation is historic, unique, unprecedented."
Beside the issue of their amateur status after signing with agents, the two players are unlikely to be academically eligible.
Normally, players who declare early drop out of school after the season. Both players would need to have 48 credit hours to be eligible.
Several years ago, the NCAA limited to six the number of credit hours a student-athlete can earn in the summer. If Williams, say, had earned 36 hours through fall term, he could not get the needed 12 hours in the summer.
Both players are also required to have declared a major by the first day of class of their third year and 25 percent of those credits must be applicable to that major. According to the USC media guide, Williams had yet to declare a major.
Boyd said an athlete can be exempt from that requirement under special circumstances, such as illness, but that exception has never been used by an ASU athlete during his tenure.
The NCAA has indicated Williams and Clarett can regain their amateur status if they return or repay any gifts or loans.