Wrong, this was only the beginning. On May 31, 2011 Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel resigned in what he and university officials said, “would be in the best interest of the program.” Shortly after Tressel’s resignation, the NCAA made Ohio State vacant several wins including their 2011 Sugar Bowl victory.
Now Pryor claims that he left because he was very close to Coach Tressel, but another reason could be that the NFL’s Supplemental drive was only a few months away, plus leaving college for the National Football League would mean Pryor wouldn’t have to serve his five game suspension wouldn’t it.
When word spread to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell about Pryor’s intentions on being eligible for the 2011 Supplemental draft, Goodell said Pryor could enter his name into the draft, but he would then have to serve a five game suspension which would prevent him from practicing or traveling with a team for the first five games of the NFL season.
Pryor obliged to Goodell’s mandatory suspension and he and his agent agreed not to appeal the suspension.
Pryor was drafted by the Oakland Raiders in the 2011 NFL Supplemental Draft. He was very thankful that a team took a chance on him, and he still stuck to his initial word, that he would not appeal his suspension.
But rumors began swirling that the Raiders want Pryor to be their starting quarterback sometime this season; that would be almost impossible if Pryor were to serve his five game suspension. No practice, no studying play-books would almost certainly guarantee no playing time for the whole 2011 season.
So shortly before the Raiders first game of the season, Pryor and his agent Drew Rosenhaus filed the necessary paperwork for an appeal.
On September 15, 2011 Rosenhaus met with commissioner Goodell in New York City, to discuss the suspension. According to reports, the meeting went well, but Roger Goodell did not make a decision at that time and said he would make a decision in the weeks to come.
Meanwhile, Pryor’s former coach Jim Tressel knew that he wasn’t going to be getting a job in the college ranks anytime soon due to him lying to NCAA investigators about Pryor’s off the field incidents; so too made the leap to the NFL and accepted a position with the Indianapolis Colts as a “replay consultant.”
Now it’s unfair to the rest of Pryor’s teammates and Tressel’s former players, because Tressel and Pryor are trying to use the NFL as an escape route from their NCAA troubles, all the while, their teammates have to stay in school and serve their suspensions.
Commissioner Goodell does not want the NFL to become a hide out for NCAA outlaws, so he said Tressel could accept the position with the Colts, but he too would have to serve a suspension. Tressel reluctantly agreed to the idea, and Goodell in return gave him a six game suspension.
The NFL should not back down from their suspensions to Tressel and Pryor, because this would open the floodgates to other college athletes seeking an escape from their NCAA troubles. Doing so would greatly hurt the image of the National Football League, and it would create some turbulence in an already shaky relationship with the NCAA.
Terrelle Pryor during his career at Ohio State was able to escape many blitzes from opposing teams, he was even able to escape from an NCAA mandated suspension but he has nowhere to escape to now that he is in the National Football League.