Meanwhile, receiver attends summer school

Updated: July 28, 2004, 9:29 PM ET
Associated Press

LOS ANGELES -- Southern California coach Pete Carroll believes a decision from the NCAA on wide receiver Mike Williams' eligibility probably will come within a couple of weeks.

"The NCAA has gone through many levels in terms of Mike's eligibility status, in terms of his amateur status," Carroll said Wednesday. "He should get an answer sometime around Aug. 10, or after that, when we are in camp. He has been through many ups and downs, and it's been challenging."

Williams is attending summer school at USC while awaiting word from the NCAA on whether he will be allowed to play this fall. The defending national champions begin practice Tuesday.

"He's worked very hard to stay in compliance with the NCAA and worked very hard toward reinstatement," Carroll said at the Pac-10's media day. "We feel strongly he has done everything he can do to be reinstated.

"But the process continues and we'll just keep working with it and support Mike and see what happens from there."

Williams, who finished fourth in the Heisman Trophy balloting, hired an agent and followed Ohio State running back Maurice Clarett in declaring his eligibility for the NFL draft after a federal judge ruled that Clarett was eligible for it.

Williams left school shortly after the spring semester began.

However, the court ruling then was stayed, and the 2nd U.S. Court of Appeals in New York decided May 24 that the NFL has the right to determine when players can enter the league.

The NFL bars players from turning pro until they are three years out of high school, and Clarett -- like Williams -- has been out of high school for just two years.

Both would be eligible for next year's NFL draft.

USC filed an application with the NCAA earlier this month asking that Williams be reinstated. The NCAA must be satisfied that he has repaid any money he received from his former agent, and that he meets the academic criteria for eligibility.


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press

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