On Thursday, agent Drew Rosenhaus told PFT that former Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor won’t appeal the five-game suspension imposed by Commissioner Roger Goodell as, in essence, a favor to the NCAA. Pryor’s lawyer, David Cornwell, is now singing a different tune.
Cornwell, who made a passionate case on Pryor’s behalf earlier this week on PFT Live, told ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike in the Morning that Pryor eventually will appeal.
“[Commissioner Roger Goodell] indicated that we have the right to appeal within three days after Terrelle signs an NFL contract, and given some of the developments both in reaching the decision and comments out of the [NFL Players Association] regarding the decision, I think it’s likely that we will file an appeal, and give the Players Association an opportunity to make it’s objections to this on the record,” Cornwell said.
Even though the NFL insists that the decision to suspend Pryor, which arises from a vague and broad provision of the NFL Constitution and By-Laws, sets no precedent, players should be concerned — and that’s probably the ultimate reason for the appeal. The NFL clearly wants to do right by the curators of its free farm system, and while there’s no “precedent” in a legal sense (indeed, the NFL would prefer not to be bound by past cases when considering the merits of new ones), the move represents the first attempt by the NFL to “help” the NCAA with the possibly unsolvable problem of enforcing inconsistently enforced rules with substandard resources and no real desire to ferret out every possible violation for fear that star players wouldn’t be available for big games such as, say, the 2010 Sugar Bowl, as the NCAA continues to implement an inherently unfair and hypocritical culture of using the talents of young men and women to make a ton of money while at the same time giving them the wholesale value of an “education” that many of them wouldn’t have wanted in the first place.
If the NFLPA lets this one slide, then the NFL will try in the future to take similar action when a former college player who has gotten himself in trouble with the NCAA wants to play pro football.