SBD/Morning Buzz

NFL, Players Seek Clarification Of Judge Nelson's Ruling On Lockout

The NFL will wait to implement work rules until U.S. District Judge Susan Nelson decides whether to stay her decision lifting the lockout, and clarifies her ruling, said NFL Exec VP/Labor Jeff Pash late yesterday afternoon. That could conflict with demands from players’ counsel, who want an immediate start to free agency. The counsel for the group of players suing the NFL are scheduled to file a brief by 9:00am CT today arguing why a stay should not be granted. The NFL by 5:00pm CT is scheduled to file its own request for clarification of the judge’s ruling. The players did so Monday night.

The issue is while Nelson wrote 89 pages, she did not say when the league year should begin or if there was a preferable economic system. The players in their lawsuit contend most free agency restrictions are antitrust violations. Pash made clear if ordered so by the court, the league would act quickly to start the league year. "We would be prepared to move promptly and ensure that all the clubs have the necessary information and make sure that we acted in a way that was orderly and businesslike and consistent with the court orders."

Pash said the league would comply with any court order, but said if the league did not get the stay from Nelson it would almost surely seek one from the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals. He also reiterated the league’s belief that it will win on appeal.
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