Tuesday, May 31, 2011
With Jim Tressel’s ouster at Ohio State - and the fact that more and more transgressions seem to be coming to light - I don’t see Terrelle Pryor playing football for the Buckeyes again.
And if they were truthful, I believe there are plenty in OSU’s inner sanctum who would tell you they’d love to see the” to-hell-with-everybody-else-I’m-gettin’-mine” quarterback hit the bricks.
Former Buckeye running back and Heisman Trophy winner Eddie George sees it that way, too.
“Now that Tressel is gone and Luke Fickell takes over, you got to ask yourself the question, ‘Do you really want (Pryor) to come back with all that baggage with him when you’re trying to move on from that?’’ George told the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “I don’t think he’ll be back with the Buckeyes this season and I don’t think he’ll be remembered by the Buckeye faithful the same way.”
Former OSU great Chris Spielman told ESPN something similar. He too believes Pryor’s won’t ever play again for the Bucks.
For all his football upside and he has plenty - he has helped OSU win three Big Ten titles and both the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl games in his first three seasons - Pryor’s off-the-field actions have made him a liability to the program.
And I get the feeling we don’t know half the stuff this kid is involved in. Every few days now it seems as if another questionable involvement related to him comes out.
He’s already been suspended for the first five games of the 2011 season because he broke NCAA rules by trading memorabilia and autograghs for tattoos and money.
Now, the Columbus Dispatch reports that Pryor is being further investigated by Ohio State and the NCAA because he may well have traded far more memorabilia than anyone imagines. He also seems to switch cars the way most people change socks.
This week’s issue of Sports Illustrated has a damning cover story alleging years of violations at OSU under Tressel’s watch. Just hours before the story came out, the already embattled coach resigned. Sources say he was forced out by OSU trustees who are reeling from the stain the scandal has put not only on the athletic program, but in some ways the school itself.
While six players have been saddled with suspensions to start the 2011 season because of their memorabilia for tats and cash transactions - NCAA violations that Tressel (in a decision that would cost him his job) kept from his bosses and the sanctioning body - SI quotes a former worker at the tattoo parlor who claims he witnessed similar violations involving nine other current players. Among then he mentioned Beavercreek High’s Zach Domicone and Northmont’s CJ Barnett.
But by far, the current player who comes off the worst in the SI story is Pryor.
SI claims Pryor may have had as many of eight different cars during his three years at OSU, all of them possibly linked to a Columbus car salesman who it’s reported may have provided over 50 cars to OSU athletes and their relatives at NCAA-violating reduced prices
With all that going on Monday - with coach Jim Tressel having just resigned and scrutiny heightened — Pryor showed up for a team meeting driving a black 2007 Nissan 350Z said to be worth up to $27,000.
He had 30-day tags on it. A Columbus TV station checked and found the quarterback was driving with a suspended license. He’d lost it when he couldn’t provide proof of insurance after one of at least three traffic stops he’s had at OSU..
As for the tattoo parlor, Pryor is said to have been a regular there. SI quoted a guy who worked there who said the quarterback seemed to have a never-ending supply of OSU stuff to trade away:
“(He) estimated that Pryor alone brought in more than 20 items, including game-worn shoulder pads, multiple helmets, Nike cleats, jerseys, game pants and more. One day (he) asked Pryor how he was able to take so much gear from the university’s equipment room. (He) says the quarterback responded, “I get whatever I want.”
Certainly Tressel deserves blame for fostering the quarterback’s idea that he gets a special pass. But much of this is on Pryor himself. More than any one player, his actions helped bring about his coach’s demise.
He has to take responsibility for his actions. But that’s not really his style.
Rather than take responsibility, he just takes.
I think plenty of folks around Ohio State have had enough of that. He;s not representative of most athletes at OSU or for what the university stands.
Pryor certainly realizes his star is fading here. Maybe he’ll try to jump into the NFL ‘s supplemental; draft this summer or maybe, if things keep coming out, Ohio State finally will nudge him out the door.
However it happens, I don’t see him spending five low-key, trouble-free weeks in exile to start the season and then taking back over at quarterback.
I don’t see him playing at Ohio State again.
He’s part of the problem, not the solution.Tweet