Williams enrolled, training at USC

Updated: October 13, 2004, 8:20 AM ET
Associated Press

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- Wide receiver Mike Williams, turned down in his attempt to return to play at Southern California after the courts kept him out of the NFL draft, has hired an agent -- again.

Williams, expected to be a first-round draft pick next April, will be represented by Tony Fleming and Mitch Frankel of Impact Sports Management.

"Mike will continue his education at USC, where he will train in preparation for his NFL career," Fleming said in a statement issued Tuesday.

Impact Sports Management has offices in Beverly Hills and Boca Raton, Fla.

Williams caught 95 passes for 1,314 yards and a school-record 16 touchdowns as a sophomore last season to help the Trojans (12-1) win the AP national championship. He finished eighth in the Heisman Trophy balloting.

After a court ruled last winter that Ohio State's Maurice Clarett was eligible to play in the NFL, Williams left USC, hired Mike Azzarelli as his agent and said he was turning pro. That made him ineligible to play for the Trojans.

An appeals court overturned the earlier ruling in May and upheld the NFL's right to bar players who had been out of high school for less than three years -- as was the case with Clarett and Williams.

After the appeals court ruling, Williams severed ties with his agent and began the process of applying to the NCAA for reinstatement. He returned to USC and took summer classes, seeking to have his academic eligibility also restored.

It was all for naught -- the NCAA turned down his request Aug. 26 -- two days before USC's season-opener against Virginia Tech.


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press