The roller coaster known as the question of whether Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor will appeal his five-game suspension, ostensibly arising from the manner in which he became eligible for the 2011 supplemental draft, finally has pulled into the station.
Albert Breer of NFL Network reports that Pryor has informed the NFL and the NFLPA of his intention to appeal the Commissioner’s decision, which was communicated to Pryor more than two weeks ago. The development comes after weeks of mixed signals and see-sawing over whether Pryor will indeed appeal.
The threshold question seems to be whether the appeal is timely. Article 46, Section 1 requires the appeal to be filed within three days after receipt of written notification. The August 18, 2011 letter from Commissioner Roger Goodell to Pryor announcing the suspension, a copy of which we obtained on August 21, informs Pryor that he may appeal within three days after signing a Player Contract. Unless the league has revised the window by, for example, telling Pryor that the three-day period begins to run when he was formally placed on the reserve/suspended list (as he was on Saturday), the league could reject the appeal as late.
Breer explains that Pryor likely pursued the matter due to concerns by veteran players that the NFL now plans to help enforce NCAA regulations. The league has insisted that Pryor’s case sets no precedent. Based on some of the things said by the Commissioner in the August 18 letter, however, it’s obvious that the violation of NCAA regulations could affect future NFL players, especially as it relates to a player’s ability to enter the NFL.
The development comes at a time when the NFL is prepared to review the Colts’ decision to hire former Ohio State coach Jim Tressel. As we reported yesterday, his employment also could be delayed, after the Commissioner reviews all facts and circumstances relating to his departure from OSU.