NCAA has yet to rule

Updated: August 19, 2004, 9:26 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

The waiting game continues for Mike Williams.

The All-American receiver who helped Southern California win a share of the national championship last season, then was denied entry into the NFL draft as an underclassman, might not practice again with the Trojans until the NCAA decides on his status, coach Pete Carroll told the Los Angeles Times.

"If it's going to help him focus and all that to be out here, we'll get him out here," Carroll told the newspaper. "If not, I'm not going to let him out here. I'm just going to keep him away from it."

The NCAA isn't expected to rule on Williams for at least a week, the Times reported in Thursday's editions.

Williams has sought reinstatement to play college football after another underclassman, former Ohio State running back Maurice Clarett, failed in his bid to enter the NFL draft earlier this year. Williams had been practicing with the Trojans since Aug. 4.

USC, ranked No. 1 in the preseason ESPN/USA Today coaches' poll, opens its season Aug. 28 against Virginia Tech in the Black Coaches Association Football Classic in Landover, Md. "For us, it will be just fine not having him out here and just waiting until he knows that he's fully committed and we know that we got him," Carroll told the Times, noting that Williams' situation has not yet become a distraction to the team.

"I kind of like the thought of, we've got to figure it out without him right now and really put the pressure on the guys to step up. ... If Mike is able to come back and all that, then we know what we've got."

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