From the moment Terrelle Pryor came out of high school, he has not been a person whose word can be trusted. That disingenuous nature those in football have come to know continued Thursday when he met with commissioner Roger Goodell about the appeal of his suspension—something he said he wouldn't do.
Pryor's transgressions began when he came out of high school as the top recruit in the nation. Well, actually it began before that, when he was still in high school and he verbally committed to playing basketball at Pittsburgh. But we will just write that off as a youth decision.
By the time Pryor graduated, he had become the top prep recruit in the nation. He had plenty of schools wanting to offer him a scholarship, and he listened to just about all of them. He visited LSU, Penn State, Oregon, Michigan, and Ohio State among his options. Some thought he knew where he wanted to go all along, but still continued to take calls from other interested schools and make visits.
After he eliminated the possibility of playing at Pitt, the decision appeared to be down to Michigan and Ohio State, two bitter rivals the likes of which most recruits typically know the side on which they land. But then Pryor added to the confusion when Penn State and Oregon called and he further delayed his decision to visit those schools.
By the time he announced his decision, every other recruit in the nation had long since signed their letters. He had the entire sports nation's eyes, and certainly those from his list of finalists, hanging on his every word to find out where he had decided to go. In the end it was the school most thought he would be attending in the first place—Ohio State.
Once he got to the school, he soon began driving cars from a local dealership which by itself seems innocent enough. But when you consider he drove eight different cars from that same dealership over his time in Columbus, that is suspicious to say the least. Add that there were a reported two dozen or so Terrelle Pryor autographed jerseys at the dealership and it really makes you wonder. As an isolated incident perhaps you give him the benefit of the doubt. But that was far from isolated.
There was also the incident involving the exchange of autographed jerseys for tattoos. That was the one that got he and some of his fellow Buckeye teammates suspended. But unlike most cases of NCAA rules violations, their suspensions were not imposed immediately. They were curiously allowed to play in that season's Bowl game and their five game suspension was to begin the following season.
This delayed suspension was on the condition that they sign an agreement that they would return for the next season to serve that suspension. Pryor was a junior and he signed the agreement. But as more evidence came out of Ohio State transgressions, coach Jim Tressel was forced to resign.
With Tressel out as head coach, Pryor was freed from his obligation to his now former coach. Some say he reneged on his agreement to return for his senior season and applied for the NFL supplemental draft. Others suspect the new evidence surrounding Ohio State had the school forcing Pryor out so that he was not obligated to speak to NCAA investigators. Either way, it doesn't look good for Pryor.
On the one hand, he looks like he is backing out of an agreement and therefore his word. On the other hand it looks like the improper benefits we know him to have received may just be scratching the surface.
Ironically, Pryor was seen driving one of the aforementioned cars he received to a team meeting hours after coach Jim Tressel's forced resignation. Here is where it gets deep. At the time, Pryor's Ohio driving privileges were suspended. According to Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles records, Pryor was ticketed in November 2008 for driving 99 in a 65-mph zone and in March 2010 for driving 94 mph in a 65-mph zone. He summarily had his license suspended. But Pryor felt that he was entitled to drive, so he did.
So just after backing out of a signed agreement (or being forced out, which could be worse), he was illegally driving the latest of eight cars he allegedly received improperly after his coach had been fired in part due to the improper benefits he had been receiving.
Pyror would then ask to enter the 2011 NFL supplemental draft. The NFL took a long time to rule on whether to allow Pryor into the supplemental draft because technically he didn't fit the criteria for entry. The supplemental draft is designed for players who were unable to return to their school. Pryor was seen as being perfectly able to return to his school. The way they saw it, at least initially, Pryor left of his own accord.
He eventually was allowed to enter the supplemental draft in part because he told Commissioner Goodell that he would accept his ruling to uphold the NCAA-imposed five game suspension without appeal. The suspension was Goodell's way of discouraging future players from trying to enter the NFL to escape NCAA suspensions. It soon became yet another agreement of which Pryor has since backed out after the fact.
Once he received word that he would be allowed in the supplemental draft, Pryor immediately scheduled a private workout for NFL scouts. Sixteen NFL team scouts showed up for this workout. In this workout it was noted that he excelled in every area except quarterback skills. This led to the inevitable question of whether he would be willing to play another position besides quarterback, to which he said he would.
He knew that his agreeing to play at any position would raise his stock with those teams who may not have been impressed with his quarterbacking skills but saw his supreme athletic skills and success at a big time program as a recipe for NFL success a different position.
Also at his workout, he ran an impressive 4.4 40 yard dash, which of course meant the Raiders were interested. After his 40 time and his apparent position flexibility, his stock was placed at the fourth round level. Unfortunately the Raiders didn't have a round four selection available to them. So if they wanted him, they would have to use their third round selection. They did just that.
The Raiders announced after they drafted him that their intention was to try him at quarterback first and foremost. There is a new CBA rule which allows teams to carry a third active emergency quarterback on the roster. So it makes sense to have Pryor on the roster as a quarterback. That way while he is developing, he is not taking up another player's roster spot.
The team drafted him and four day later he arrived, just in time for the final day of camp. Then in his post-practice interview, he was asked the same question about switching positions. This time his answer was different. He said unequivocally that he was a quarterback.
In that same conversation, he reiterated that he accepts the suspension handed down by the commissioner and would serve it without appeal, recanting on a previous statement and then giving his word on something else that later proved to be untrue. We had little reason not to believe him at the time but with his current appeal on top of the other statements he has made and actions to the contrary, it has become difficult to believe him when he speaks.
In the end, his five game suspension will very likely be upheld. The commissioner rarely changes his stance on these matters, especially when he considers a player's actions not to be in keeping with what he promised initially. Pryor should consider himself lucky that after all this, a five game suspension is all he receives. The team as well as its fans only hope that there are no more shady revelations to come and that after his suspension is up, Pryor can move on with his career with a little more wisdom, humility, and maturity.
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Pryor said when he was drafted he did not plan to appeal. He also said the decision to appeal would be left up to Al and the raiders.
You write a whole article on this? I wish that's all my kid did in his youth.
This is win win for the Raiders. Could be another Ronald Curry. Hopefully better
Very, Very, harsh criticism of a young kid who more than likely was dazzled by all the attention. I did not go to a university. Nor was I a national phenom coming out of high school. Yet when I was a young lad from 18-24 I did way more questionable things than Pryor. Was I a bad kid? No. Was I out of control? More often than not...Yes! My point is a young man who has everyone bending over backwards to insinuate themselves into your life, giving you accolades, and free cars, and tattoo's, and whatever else, all for a few autographed items... Well? What would you do? I know for a fact in my immaturity, I would've taken all I could get. And deriding him for checking out every school that was trying to recruit him? What's wrong with exploring ALL your options? We shall see if this kid can become a true star athlete or just another spoiled rich young man who cannot handle the money and fame and crashes and burns while the world watches and writers like you say, "See? I told ya so!"
The foundation of the big money 'amateur" sport system is based on deceit. Its a billion dollar industry that avoids taxation by hiding behind the universities. The players are recruited with crumbs from the banquet table - gear, tats, etc. in exchange for their labor. They are compensated in a myriad of ways as long as they stay healthy and produce in order to feed the machine. Any of them get seriously injured, and they are cast aside and forgotten. So considering all of Pryor's transgressions and forgetting that the whole system he came from is a fraud is disingenuous. Pryor is no worse than any other highly recruited football player.
As accurate as your article may be about this young miss guided man, my first reaction is so what? So whats new in the NFL? The league has become a safe house for many untrustworthy and unscrupulous individuals ? I was against drafting him but now that we have him it comes down to one thing. Can the idiot play? In this we must trust the coach! We lost a 3rd round draft choice that we most likely will get back in compensatory picks for losing Asomugha, Gallery and Miller. I predict he will be gone in two years as historical evidence proves he just can not behave.
very well written, informed article. i don't know if pryor is honest, or not. we'll see, obviously. but this article simply points out the circumstances of his leaving ohio, and coming to the raiders. i hope is is a great player and great team mate, and helps the raiders win multiple super bowls. still, there's nothing wrong with talking about his past, or being critical of his actions. the raiders' experience with jamarcus russell is proof enough of that. i'm glad to see tdfs taking a more journalistic approach. really nice job!
Wow! Very harsh and a lot of unfounded comments. I think you should stick with "what you know" in your articles and stop the "ESPN" routine. I am so glad when I was Pryor's age I did not live in a fishbowl like he is. I can think of a million things this kid could be doing that is a lot worse than what is in your article. For the most part, I like your reporting, but this sucks. And that is me being very nice.
Its blatently obvious that Pryor was forced into accepting the suspension in the first place. That's where the NFL was wrong. It doesnt matter so much if Pryor wins the appeal, there will likely be a lawsuit if he doesnt.
It doesnt matter if Pryor "agreed" not to appeal the suspension when he accepted it. He was forced to agreement. If someone is tortured into signing a confession for a crime does that make the person guilty? No it doesnt. The NFL was wrong and it isnt Pryor who is forcing the issue. The NFL forced it on him and the player's union is forced to appeal it by way of opinion amoung its members. Pryor isnt the person deciding anything. His lawyer said they would appeal before Pryor even was drafted. Pryor said he wouldnt before the draft because he was forced to say that. After the draft, Pryor said he would let the team decide whether or not he'd appeal. After meeting with Al Davis, Pryor said he wouldnt appeal and he didnt appeal at that time. However the pressure from the union to appeal had hardly even begun. A young man working his first job being pressured by his peers and the union, what do you think he's going to do? The only thing Pryor is doing is what he's being pushed to do. Its not Pryor who is really concerned one way or the other with the legal stuff. He's not a lawyer, just a football player. All he wants to do is play football.
The NFLPA asked Pryor to appeal as the NFL should really have no right to penalize players for college football transgressions. That sets up a precedent that should not be set. Is it not the NFL's job to get involved in a college athlete's business period. Actually, the NFLPA told Pryor's lawyer to file and the Raiders need a third string QB so I am sure Al Davis supports this appeal not only for obtaining a third QB before week 6 put for putting the NFL and Goodall back in their respective places. Goodall way over stepped his bounds on this one. Think about it.
Sorry, Levi, I too think you're all wet on this one, for any number of reasons:
- As Ross said, the likelihood is that AD, TP's agent AND the Players Union (as well as the players on the team) told TP to appeal, for two reasons. First, no one likes the possible precedent being set--Goodell taking it upon himself to influence NCAA penalties on PLAYERS but not coaches. Sure, he SAID he'd have suspended Tressel, and I suppose it's possible he would have, but that's awfully easy to say after Indy does so.
Moreover, the NFL is trying to punish Pryor for the LEAGUE breaking its own rules. If Pryor was ineligible for the sup draft, then the NFL should simply have ruled so and been done with it. Instead, they created a loophole--if you let us dock you 30% of your salary this year, you can come play ball. Bogus deluxe.
Pryor may yet be immature and dumb enough to run himself afoul of a few NFL player conduct rules, and when he does, he should be suspended or fined according to established rules and precedent. He had not done so before this suspension, however--in fact, the only NFL rule he violated prior to this suspension was the one that made him initially ineligible for the sup draft. The NFL violated that rule, and is trying to deflect from that by punishing Pryor. I wouldn't be at all surprised if the suspension is shortened effective of the date of decision--say by a week or ten days. That's just enough of a "win-win" to be a good compromise (which by definition leaves every party angry).
I don't trust him either. IMHO the jury should be out with high skepticism. Folks on this site hated on Miller for making a liegit albeit bad choice to leave. But his integrity is intact. Not so for Terrel.
What, exactly, is the point of this article? Show me a kid that doesn't lie or push his or her fences as far as he can and I'll sell you my 100 acres of swamp land in Arizona. My guess is the Raiders (specifically AD) TOLD him to appeal. If not, then the players union did. If you don't know for a fact any different, then you shouldn't be posting an article just to bash the guy. This is one of the worst commentaries you've ever written. I've followed TFDS for a long time and have to say I'm disappointed that you'd post an article for the sole purpose of bashing a guy you know little about - or about his circumstances for that matter.
kid has a load of talent and is a hard worker and learner. tressell changed his whole offensive philosophy to tailor it around him. i believe he can help us and will be a difference maker for us in some capacity down the stretch. giordano was signed, cut, and resigned and helped us out tremendously in week 1(but he wasn't a rookie though). he is the perfect slash type player and can be used to also be a decoy and run some gimmicks. speaking of gimmicks, would have liked to see dmac pitch that option to jones in the future(not slighting ford)
Levi, I love this site, Ballers and Buster is one of My favourites and its a good source for Raiders news but Brother this is horrible..
All be it mostly true with a hint of assumptions and speculation as a result of some actions hes guilty of suddenly all actions are under the microscope.
I find it hard to believe you would lynch a raider up like this and in all honesty look like your completely exposing him, i assume you do not know the guy and from all reports he is a hard working , good team mate, attended class excelled on the field, rules are rules so fair game but he sold a few jerseys he got some tattoos he said he would NOT appeal and probably on the advice of the Raiders an Al they have requested he appeal a suspension not warranted by The NFL.
He didn’t kill dogs he isn’t a 2 degree murderer and he has no drink driving convictions for all those cars he was driving, he hasn’t beat up his girl and he has yet to grope females.
I’m a tad upset you’d make an example out of a new talent to our family.
However you are Raider and we stand united (most of the time) trust me the kid will be good for us
Beat down the Bills - Go raiders
Pryor carries a lot of baggage but he is a hell of a talent. Michael Vick is no saint, and Pryor's issues are minor compared to his. However, Vick can flat out perform, and Pryor is a guy who has the ability to rise to Vick's level on the playing field, and if that happens, the Raiders will be legitimate superbowl contenders for many years....
@PeterTripp Amazing the contrast between this comment and the one before. Just goes to show you the different ways an article can be interpreted. Going from "This sucks" to "really nice job." Thanks Peter.
@Blackmamba_20 You shouldn't throw around words like "lynch". Outside of the word's negative connotation, it suggests there is no evidence he did that which I am outlining. Which, as you point out, he did. Regardless of how much worse someone unrelated may be. The existence of worse people is meaningless.
@LDizzle Oh Dizzy
... Read between the lines, Lynch , string him up ,make an example of him whatever you want, were all aware of his past transgressions, the author of this story is implying that anything he does feeds in to the notion that he cannot be trusted?? with anything..
Now i bring up the those other people (NFL Players) as an example of what’s out there in the NFL and what’s be done and what’s be forgiven and he’s packing his panties over this.
i just don’t expect the senior writer blatantly writing a story that shows our newest Raider in such a negative light..
I for one couldn’t care less about his (heinous) college crimes lol, that college machine earns billions a year.
Thanks for your comment though.