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Ohio State's Maurice Clarett Sues NFL
ABC/ESPN Breaking News ^ | September 23, 2003 | staff writer

Posted on 09/23/2003 11:16:45 AM PDT by rftc

Suspended Ohio State tailback Maurice Clarett sued the National Football League today in an historic attempt to gain entry into the league.

Under the current rules, Clarett is not eligible for entry until 2005.


TOPICS: Breaking News; Business/Economy; Culture/Society; News/Current Events; US: Ohio
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To: mhking
My bad (partially); I was relying on an account of the Haywood case from the book "loose Balls", by Terry Pluto.

However, it should be noted that Haywood had already played one year with the ABA before signing with Seattle.
151 posted on 09/23/2003 12:41:39 PM PDT by You Dirty Rats
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To: rftc
I think the courts may strike down the NFL's rule.

I agree. I never thought they would try to dictate the PGA's rules, and they did, which means they can do it to any sports league.

152 posted on 09/23/2003 12:43:28 PM PDT by jpl
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To: freeangel
For the same reason that guys would line up to date J-Lo after prior bust-ups with B.A. et al. You think you're the one she really wants.
153 posted on 09/23/2003 12:44:06 PM PDT by You Dirty Rats
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To: freeangel
The kid has raw skills. If he can play someone will draft him. Much like the 1996 election - “Character Does Not Matter”. Why else would any player get drafted from the Florida Colleges?
154 posted on 09/23/2003 12:44:14 PM PDT by j_k_l
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To: mhking
Woody Hayes' son is not hearing the case against the NFL. He is a municipal court judge who is in charge of the falsification case against Clarett. Hayes is not a federal court judge.
155 posted on 09/23/2003 12:46:04 PM PDT by hankbrown
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To: Rad_J
I know you are not serious. Though it does sounds like all that could come to pass since the 14 admendment passed.
156 posted on 09/23/2003 12:46:05 PM PDT by Baseballguy
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To: AgentEcho
They just never figured how to work with him and his emotional issues. Now that he is in Miami he is doing fine.

And being a Pats fan I can't say I would complain if he blew his knee out and had to miss the next three months but not sustain any long term health problems.
157 posted on 09/23/2003 12:46:36 PM PDT by misterrob
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To: discostu
Previous cases have held that the NFL teams are competitors for antitrust purposes, but it is certainly a close issue.
158 posted on 09/23/2003 12:47:17 PM PDT by triplejake
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To: misterrob
I would perfer kids going into the NFL out of highschool. Colleges would be a place for those that want to learn and not jocks trying to get noticed.
159 posted on 09/23/2003 12:48:59 PM PDT by Baseballguy
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To: j_k_l
You mean the guy who won the Super Bowl in 2002 with a less talented team than the Rams?

Bernie was on his last legs and Vinnie T. was supposed to be the future. He might not have done the job in the mid nineties but the Jets almost went the Super Bowl with him as their QB under Parcells and Charlie Weiss.
160 posted on 09/23/2003 12:49:03 PM PDT by misterrob
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To: freeangel
Perhaps I am naive, but why would any team want him after this episode

I can't imagine. I suppose it's possible that he'll generate revenue for the franchise in excess of the "costs" of having him on the team, but I don't see it. These owners have big (very big) egos and they won't stand for someone demanding a spot on a roster.

161 posted on 09/23/2003 12:50:15 PM PDT by trad_anglican
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To: Dog Gone
Are businesses that only hire college graduates illegally discriminating? Or do high school graduates have a right to be hired by them?

No, but there's often a big difference between a college graduate and a high school graduate in terms of knowledge. For example, a CPA firm would have good reason to hire a college graduate who's taken many semesters of Business and Accounting classes as well as had more experience in writing reports over a high school grad who might have been exposed to a little business knowledge.

But what difference is there for Clarett? Is he not already physically strong enough and suitably fast enough for the NFL? And running back is probably the position with the least need for practical experience (versus say quarterbacks). His age becomes an artificial distinction which the courts might frown upon, especially since he's an adult.

It's an interesting question. From my point of view, the current system where the colleges act as a free minor league for the NFL and the colleges make money off of their "minor leaguers" in return for some easy classes seems to skirt violating the 13th Amendment.

162 posted on 09/23/2003 12:50:56 PM PDT by LenS
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To: midwestmidnight
Not really. It will only be moot for him personally. If the lawsuit goes beyond the next draft, but he still wins it, it will set the president that will have players comming out of college as freshmen and high schoolers trying to go directly to the NFL. It will ruin the "farm" system that the NFL currently has with college football.
163 posted on 09/23/2003 12:50:56 PM PDT by CougarGA7
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To: hankbrown
Hayes is not a federal court judge.

I stand corrected. The AP story leads one to believe otherwise.

164 posted on 09/23/2003 12:51:36 PM PDT by mhking (Don't mess in the affairs of dragons; For you are crunchy, and taste great with ketchup...)
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To: misterrob
The question is, is the NFL practicing a form of age discrimination against him? I think they are and they are also, in fact, limiting his right to earn a living.

Really? OK, I guess I will sue then... the NFL is denying me a RIGHT to earn of living, despite the fact I am not physically able to play the game.

That is essentially the purpose of the age restriction... a 19-year old growing boy should not be on the field with full-grown, 30 year old men.

165 posted on 09/23/2003 12:52:12 PM PDT by Lunatic Fringe
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To: Dog Gone
Are businesses that only hire college graduates illegally discriminating? Or do high school graduates have a right to be hired by them?

No the high school grad doesn't meet the standard set by the employer if they require a college degree.
In the case of Clarett the qualification is that his high school class must have graduated 3 years prior to his being eligible for hire in the NFL.
The arguement can be made that the college degree is a qualification needed to perform the job while the 3 year rule has nothing to do with the abilty to perform in the NFL.
If the rule stated that the player must play at least 3 years of college football or Candaian or European pro football to be considered for the NFL then you can make the qualifaction argument but it doesn't, so the 3 year rule won't be upheld.

The NFL's three year rule is designed to do nothing more than keep players in school (the NFL's farm system) and keeping Universities happy so they will let pro scouts on campus to evaluate the players.

166 posted on 09/23/2003 12:52:38 PM PDT by LittleRedRooster
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To: Lunatic Fringe
Umm, yeah, OK....but Clarett is 20.
167 posted on 09/23/2003 12:53:30 PM PDT by ContemptofCourt
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To: misterrob
"Bernie was on his last legs..."

Bernie got the crap beat out of him because his "brilliant coach" didn't think they needed an offensive line.

Those "last legs" also help the Cowboys win a Super Bowl.
168 posted on 09/23/2003 12:53:33 PM PDT by j_k_l
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To: triplejake
The laws around the franchise business structure are pretty complex. I think with the way the CBA and the draft are structured NFL teams don't compete for employees most of the time. It is close though.
169 posted on 09/23/2003 12:54:13 PM PDT by discostu (just a tuna sandwich from another catering service)
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To: mhking; You Dirty Rats; discostu; Bikers4Bush
No so fast their guys/girls. Many have brought up the $3.00 penalty the NFL had to pay. Looking at it slightly differently, the NFL lost and was found to be a monopoly. Don't you think that Clarrett's lawyers are going pound this down the NFL's throat?

Also, I'm not saying that the NFL is preventing him from going to Canada to play, what I am saying is that the NFL is prohibiting him from working in THE NFL!!!! The NFL was(as others have pointed out) proven to be a monopoly. This same monopoly is refusing a grown man(no child labor laws here) the right to work. We are not talking about a blind person applying for a pilot's job. We are talking about a BS age limit where there is precedent enough(MLB,NBA,NHL,etc...) to make it unlawful.

170 posted on 09/23/2003 12:54:30 PM PDT by SengirV
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To: Lunatic Fringe
He's already physically able to play. And, the NFL cannot say that he isn't given that he played against a number of guys who were drafted.

If you have the tools to play then go ahead and sue. If you can't cut the mustard then save your money.
171 posted on 09/23/2003 12:56:15 PM PDT by misterrob
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To: LittleRedRooster; LenS
But businesses are not required to hire all qualified candidates. They can screen them any way they choose that is not illegal.

What you are saying is you want to make the NFL practice illegal. Fine. But that's not the same thing as the rule being illegal today. It's not.

172 posted on 09/23/2003 12:57:36 PM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: j_k_l
as a back up he helped.

Aikman, Irvin, Smith, Novaceck, Moose Johnson, their offensive and defensive lines and good coaching won their super bowl.

Supporting cast like that would make a lot of guys look good.
173 posted on 09/23/2003 12:58:33 PM PDT by misterrob
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To: LittleRedRooster
Clarett will not make it in the NFL. He has no discipline, and refuses to accept any. Ohio State disiplined him for cheating..... Instead of accepting his 1 year of punishment, he just sued them. Now he is suing the NFL (who he wants to someday work for). Pretty bright to sue a potential employeer. What team would dare draft him knowing he may just bring suit if he doesn't get his way? Only a team close to the cellar. Then what are the chances that they'll come to an agreement on salary? He'll just hold out and sue them.
174 posted on 09/23/2003 1:00:19 PM PDT by kjam22
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To: discostu
The Complaint does not seem to be very well drafted. He is claiming that the restrictions are a group boycott (i.e., an illegal conspiracy among competitors), but only the NFL is named as a defendant -- if he is alleging a conspiracy, I would have thought he'd name each NFL club as a defendant too. In the end, though, I guess this will turn on whether the collective bargaining exemption is found to apply.
175 posted on 09/23/2003 1:01:22 PM PDT by triplejake
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To: triplejake
The CBA is between the NFLPA and the NFL, not each team.
176 posted on 09/23/2003 1:04:54 PM PDT by ContemptofCourt
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To: SengirV
You were saying the NFL didn't want it's monopoly laundry aired in court, I just pointed out it already was.

No you said they were preventing him from "earning a living", you didn't stipulate "in the NFL" you were across the board which is a false statement.

The NHL has an age limit, they've lowered it but it's never been challenged. It's not BS, the court rulings that have told employers they aren't allowed to screen their employees are BS.
177 posted on 09/23/2003 1:05:45 PM PDT by discostu (just a tuna sandwich from another catering service)
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To: kjam22
The NFL will not be his employer, one of the NFL teams will and each team has different rules under the rules umbrella of the NFL.
I really don't care wheather Maurice will be poor or good player in the leauge for 5 minutes or 15 years.
The 3 year rule will not hold water in a court of law.
178 posted on 09/23/2003 1:06:11 PM PDT by LittleRedRooster
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To: You Dirty Rats
I thought that was part of the ahrdship ruling...remember way back, they had to prove hardship as a result...that eventually went bye-bye. I can't see why Clarrett would lose...He has a right to provide for his family, right to work, etc. It will be interesting. The NFL is private entity, do they get public monies?
179 posted on 09/23/2003 1:06:51 PM PDT by jonalvy44
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To: SengirV
Also, I'm not saying that the NFL is preventing him from going to Canada to play, what I am saying is that the NFL is prohibiting him from working in THE NFL!!!!

In the NFL or in PRO FOOTBALL? There is a difference.

Not only that, are you now saying that the League cannot pick and choose, based on whom they WISH to employ? HR departments nationwide will cringe at that one.

180 posted on 09/23/2003 1:09:14 PM PDT by mhking (Don't mess in the affairs of dragons; For you are crunchy, and taste great with ketchup...)
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To: triplejake
At the least it should have been the NFL and NFLPA. The worse his complaint is drafter the better as far as I'm concerned. Teenagers are bad for professional sports. And as a former manager who's planning on managing again I fear court rulings that limit an employer's ability to screen his employees as he sees fit.
181 posted on 09/23/2003 1:09:18 PM PDT by discostu (just a tuna sandwich from another catering service)
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To: Dog Gone
But businesses are not required to hire all qualified candidates. They can screen them any way they choose that is not illegal.

That's just crazy talk, you don't get to choose based on orgin of birth, religion, age, skin color, so don't say they get to choose based on whatever an employer wants.
Secondly businesses are required to accept applicaton from all quailfied applicants.

182 posted on 09/23/2003 1:09:21 PM PDT by LittleRedRooster
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To: jonalvy44
They get LOTS of Public Money to pay for their Stadiums, Practice Facilities, Parking Lots, etc..

RamS
183 posted on 09/23/2003 1:09:24 PM PDT by RamingtonStall (Ride Hard and far! ..... and with GPS, Know where you are!)
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To: Bikers4Bush
Why is everyone so quick to jump on the league-as-single-firm theory? OK, so they call themselves franchisees. They are still not single entities. If they were single entities, they could not sue each other, and we know that happens - every time someone wants a better TV deal or to move locations. No, the NFL's designation does not control.

The NFL is subject to antitrust regulation - maybe USFL's damages were nominal, but they were found liable for antitrust violations. That being the case, why should an antitrust action against collectiev refusal to deal in hiring not turn on the same analysis?

Sure, a law firm can require that its hires be lawyers - not a violation of antitrust. All firms do it, but it isn't an antitrust violation - conspiracy amongst firms. States have laws setting standards for bar admissions. Last I checked, there was no state or federal law requiring 3 years out of high school for NFL participation. Isn't that classic conspiracy? It's also another thing if, due to market considerations, no firm wants to hire him, independant of collusion. Hard evidence to prove, but I think his argument is that without this rule, agreed to amongst the teams, he would find a team willing to hire. Again, kind of depends on if franchises are single firms, but how can they sue each other if they are? How did a/t liability attach in USFL?
184 posted on 09/23/2003 1:13:53 PM PDT by byu-fan
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To: mhking
What are you talking about....lets look past the BS, which is what this is.....

The NFL and the NCAA are in cahoots...the NFL uses the NCAA as its farm system, and in return, the NCAA gets to use the best and brightest prospective football players to make millions and millions of dollars off of their backs for three years.

This is what the NFL is going to have to explain away before the judge, and why not one legal analyst believes that the NFL has a chance.

185 posted on 09/23/2003 1:14:38 PM PDT by ContemptofCourt
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To: byu-fan
I can own a McDonald's franchise and still sue another one.

It's no dfferent.

And if you look it's not so much the teams suing each other as it is A team suing the NFL.

186 posted on 09/23/2003 1:19:29 PM PDT by Bikers4Bush
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To: Rad_J
Did I mis something or are the NFL's rules in the founding documents of our nation?
187 posted on 09/23/2003 1:20:00 PM PDT by rftc
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To: ContemptofCourt
The NFL can point to the NBA and the Kobe Bryants of the world as evidence of why they don't want to take teenagers.

That will make their case for them in a heartbeat.
188 posted on 09/23/2003 1:20:55 PM PDT by Bikers4Bush
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To: All
All a distraction.

OSU: 4-0


189 posted on 09/23/2003 1:20:58 PM PDT by anniegetyourgun
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To: rftc
I knew it was coming. If the owners were smart, they'd lock his ass out completely. Let him go to the CFL or the European leagues.
190 posted on 09/23/2003 1:22:16 PM PDT by Chancellor Palpatine
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To: TexasCajun
He does not have a right. The NFL is private and can set their own rules. Obviously you have never owned your own business!!

I understand that but he in this case does not have a right to play in the NFL. Instead he can EARN his way to the NFL. That was the topic. Gheeez.

191 posted on 09/23/2003 1:22:55 PM PDT by NC Conservative
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To: Bikers4Bush
Is Kobe a teenager? How about LeBron James? Any more stupid arguments?

Just what is the NFL afraid of? If it really thought that teenagers could not make it, then why would any NFL team draft one? Unless, of course, the NFL is concerned that it, instead of the NCAA, would have to develop its own talent.

192 posted on 09/23/2003 1:23:38 PM PDT by ContemptofCourt
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To: Bikers4Bush
"No one has a right to play in the NFL. No one."

Au contraire. If a team wishes to draft him (and all 30 would probably want him), and he is an adult (age-wise, clearly not head-wise in his case), he DOES have the right to be eligible for the draft. Keeping him out of the draft effectively denies him the right to play.

This kid is an unsavory character who has gotten and continues to get a lot of bad advice, but that doesn't change the fact that he has the physical tools to play in the NFL right now, and cannot be prevented from doing so. He would be, in theory, smarter to wait until he has another good year at OSU, assuming they would take him back in 2004, but OTOH he could also get seriously injured.

The NFL's best hope is to employ every legal stalling tactic ever invented, because they have NO case. Unless (and I doubt it), there is an age requirement in the NFLPA contract that is based on a lot of defensible studies of what might happen to 19 year-old running backs.
193 posted on 09/23/2003 1:25:38 PM PDT by litany_of_lies
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To: ContemptofCourt
Is Kobe a teenager? How about LeBron James?
LeBron and Maurice are about a year apart in age, grew up not far from each other, and are friends (LeBron was an all-state football player his junior year). That's what I suspect this is all about. Maurice is injury prone and saw what happened to Willis McGahee during the Fiesta Bowl where Ohio State Won The National Championship.

-Eric

194 posted on 09/23/2003 1:29:48 PM PDT by E Rocc (bolded comment manadatory)
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To: ContemptofCourt
Kobe was a teenager when drafted ncie mess he's in, the jury is still out on LeBron. Any more stupid analysis or are you done?

The NFL is afraid of boys trying to play a mans game, getting hurt and suing them for not keeping the men from beating their asses.

Clarett would be torn apart in the NFL and then he'd hold the NFL responsible for the whooping he received.

It has nothing to do with developing talent it has to do with players being adult enough to handle the pressures.

Do you think it would make a damn bit of difference to the NFL to scout a high school game as opposed to a college game? Hell no.

The people that are scared are the current players. If the product is dilluted by unproven players then the obvious result is lower pay for them all.

Clarett is not mature enough, and not fit enough to compete in the NFL. Regardless of what you think.

The NFL has rules, if he doesn't want to follow them then he can go play in canada.

195 posted on 09/23/2003 1:32:07 PM PDT by Bikers4Bush
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To: mhking
NFL Player's Union head Gene Upshaw said (in an ESPN article), "We support [the NFL's] position. ... I don't think he should be playing in the NFL yet. He should stay in school. This will be here for him.

I wonder if Mr. Upshaw and the rest of the PA will compensate Mr. Clarett if he blows out a knee before he becomes "eligible" for the draft?

196 posted on 09/23/2003 1:32:20 PM PDT by Lost Highway
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To: litany_of_lies
He has the right to be eligible for the draft once he's met the requirements and not a moment sooner.

If he can't meet the requirements it's his problem.
197 posted on 09/23/2003 1:33:21 PM PDT by Bikers4Bush
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To: RamingtonStall
so it will be interesting to see if the NFL can bar him...
198 posted on 09/23/2003 1:33:36 PM PDT by jonalvy44
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To: Dog Gone
What you are saying is you want to make the NFL practice illegal. Fine. But that's not the same thing as the rule being illegal today. It's not.

Has the rule ever really been challenged? Since court cases tend to take years, has any player ever bothered to make the challenge and take it all the way to court? Why make a challenge that would probably last longer than most pro careers. But if no one has ever challenged the rule, then how can we say that it is definitively legal?


On a separate unrelated note, would the CFL even be relevant to the court fight? I'm not sure that the argument that one could leave the country to work would matter to a court deciding matters within the US (I'm assuming Arlen Spectre isn't involved *g*). In terms of a US case, the relevant alternatives to the NFL would be some of the semi-pro leagues and the Arena league. Though, I can only recall Eric Swann being the example of a semi-pro player who was drafted so that might not be a good example.

199 posted on 09/23/2003 1:37:23 PM PDT by LenS
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To: Bikers4Bush
Jim Brown was 20 years old (the same age Clarett will be for the 2004 draft) when he entered the NFL and went on to be rookie of the year.

Kobe did not do anything "improper" as a teenager...and your argument there is just stupid.

In fact, you have made no argument based on fact, law, or logic...you just keep saying that the NFL will prevail.

And the "maturity" argument is just silly....shall I rattle off names of immature NFL stars?

The NFL has rules, but are they violative of the Antitrust Act? Betcha they are....

200 posted on 09/23/2003 1:38:31 PM PDT by ContemptofCourt
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