Heisman Trophy winner Barry Sanders said Saturday he wants to enter the NFL draft to ease his family's financial problems, and his attorney said he will sue if the league refuses to let Sanders play.

As a junior at Oklahoma State with NCAA eligibility remaining, Sanders must receive a special exemption from NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle to enter the league.Sanders, a record-breaking running back at OSU, told a news conference he spent the past three months in "intense discussions with my parents and coach (Pat) Jones" and decided "it is my best interest to renounce my last year of school and enter the NFL."

"My decision was based, in part, on the financial hardships facing my family," he said. "I feel obligated to help relieve some of those financial pressures.

"If my family had said to stay in school and we had $500,000 in the bank, the decision might have been different."

Sanders said Jones was "very supportive" of his decision.