League should let Pryor into supplemental draft now

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Terrelle Pryor’s future as an NFL quarterback isn’t clear.  Far less clear is his present.

Two days away from the annual supplemental draft, the NFL has yet to give Pryor, shown working out in his hometown of Jeannette, Pennsylvania on Friday, an answer as to whether he’ll be eligible.  Even if he gets in right now, he’ll be at a significant disadvantage, since he’ll have roughly 48 hours to organize and conduct a workout for teams who may be interested in him.

That fact alone puts the NFL squarely in the wrong for, by all appearances, tiptoeing on eggshells for the curators of the free farm system known as college football.  The league seems to believe it has an obligation to assist the NCAA with its grossly selective and horribly inefficient enforcement system.  In this specific case, the league can help the NCAA by keeping Pryor out of the NFL for 2011, giving teeth to the suspension that inevitably would have been imposed if he hadn’t left Ohio State.

But that’s not the league’s job, and it definitely doesn’t mesh with the concerns the NFL has been floating.  The league seems to be searching for an excuse to keep Pryor out based not on the classic reasons for inclusion in the supplemental draft (i.e., loss of eligibility after the deadline for entering the April draft) by painting his decision to leave Ohio State as an effort to engineer his entry into the supplemental draft, when the evidence suggests otherwise.

As we’ve heard it, Pryor has proven to the league that, one way or the other, he wouldn’t have been playing college football in 2011.  Either the NCAA would be suspending him, or Ohio State would be shutting him down on its own.  And that quit-or-be-fired vibe emerged, we’re told, after Pryor met with the NCAA in May and answered questions in a way that significantly undermined his ongoing eligibility.

At that point, folks at Ohio State began to suggest that Pryor should leave.  After Jim Tressel resigned and Luke Fickell was appointed to take over, we’re told that Fickell wouldn’t return Pryor’s calls.

But the NFL still seems to be trying to fit the square peg of reality into the round hole of the NCAA’s agenda.  It’s wrong, and the fact that the NFL has yet to issue a decision suggests that the NFL knows it’s wrong.

The NFL needs to do the right thing right now, and let Pryor into the draft.  If he’s good enough to get drafted, and if (as we’re hearing) Jon Gruden is privately expressing a belief that Pryor may be better than Cam Newton, then Pryor will get drafted, even without a Pro Day workout and with NFL teams trying to slap together a season on the fly.

Either way, the kid should have a chance to enter the NFL now.  The league’s rules contemplate that outcome, even if the league’s politics don’t.

50 responses to “League should let Pryor into supplemental draft now

  1. The NFL with all it’s malice and ultimate wisdom is going to try and screw the kid because the NCAA with all its malice and ultimate wisdom punished Ohio State for the player trading a jersey and a signature for a tattoo.

  2. Any team that is desperate enough to squander a 2012 regular draft pick on Pryor at this point should be free to. But that’s an entirely separate issue and question from whether the NFL should waive it’s own policy and rule to carve out some new 11th hour exemption for kids who f’d up their college opportunity.

  3. Great article, let’s break the rules that are in place to further reinforce to Pryor that the rules of society don’t apply to him.

    Enablers like you are why Pryor is in this mess.

  4. Pryor said that he would not enter the NFL after he was served his suspensions. He said he would be back and be the only quarterback to beat Michigan 4 times. Now its coming out that he wasn’t coming back all along now that Tressel is gone? Something isn’t right here. You can’t tell me he wasn’t planning to go to the NFL all along. I don’t think he should be allowed to enter because he shimmied his way around the whole system.

  5. Screw that. Let this guy sit for a year. How can anyone support letting him get away scot free from his college wrong doings? What an example that would set. “Yeah, do whatever you want in college and it’s OK because you can just escape to the NFL and be rewarded with millions of dollars for all the”hard work” you’ve done!”

  6. Wrong!
    He chose to leave school (not finishing his sociology or whatever degree) and not to re enroll anywhere else. He’s not going to receive a get into the NFL free card just because he’s got some talent. If (as you claim) he’d proven he wouldn’t be eligible, then he’d be in the draft right now. Obviously since they haven’t even begun to get close to closing their investigation, it’s just a rumor you’re spreading without any real sources given.

    No matter how you argue it the rules for the supplemental draft are the rules and they’re not going to make an exception for him.

  7. If Pryor does not get into the draft, he’s gonna have to wait for a while because he’s likely not gonna go back to the NCAA. Pryor would have to workout all fall, winter, and a little of spring intensively to stay in shape. And that’s before he even gets picked by a team

  8. Why? Why does the NFL need to cater to another spoiled brat with no respect for any rules or authority? It would do Pryor good to sit out a year. Remember, it was Pryor who went out and broke the rules first!!

    Only thing better would be to let him in and no one take him – but of course there are always the Redskins to take some useless misfit!

  9. It would be hard for him to beat out a number 3 QB at this point in the preseason not unless he goes to a team that does not have that position set 1 through 3 or 4 in some cases. Pryor needs coaching and a lot of time in the classroom and I would not be surprised if a team like Seattle or a team with a Veteran presence at that position would pick him up. But it would be a risk for sure.

  10. He should have had his ‘pro day’ already. Doesn’t need the NFL to do this.

    Nobody can prevent you from going to a High School field and playing catch

    This article has too many words, for such a small issue.

  11. So college players should be allowed to purposefully break all the rules, get suspended by the NCAA (or school) and then just jump right into the NFL?

    Get a clue.

    Not to mention no one will waste their time, money, or pick on this jackass. He has obvious character issues, he is a terrible quarterback, etc.

  12. So, rules say he doesn’t qualify for the supplemental draft? He Broke the rules of the NCAA and his University? He lied about multiple things on-top of breaking rules, while breaking more rules? He is already suspended in 1 league and doesn’t meet the requirements for the top tier of the sport?

    Regardless of him being a headcase and a QB with an arm/legs and missing anything up top; everyone should just give another free ride? No?

    Let him go to the CFL, UFL or AFL and not reward him for being an idiot. If Goodell lets him in this year, he deserves the swift kick in the crotch he is sure to give him in the next year or 2. Don’t be lenient on morons, don’t give them a free pass and don’t let proven morons in the league. If that’s the plan, i guess Pac-Man will be a cowboy again next year?

  13. jpb12 says:
    Aug 15, 2011 8:18 AM
    He should have had his ‘pro day’ already. Doesn’t need the NFL to do this.

    Nobody can prevent you from going to a High School field and playing catch

    This article has too many words, for such a small issue.

    But the NFL can/does/will prevent teams from going? Stiff penalties for it, so…maybe read some of those words?

  14. The NFL should absolutely allow this man to earn a living by working in the league. They have a free farm system and are working in cahoots with the NCAA to deprive him simply because they can. It’s wrong. Coaches and administrators move on to the booth or other high paying jobs and the players are kicked out of school. Now they want to bar him from playing, which I think is just bad business.

  15. chmba says:
    Aug 15, 2011 8:04 AM
    Only thing better would be to let him in and no one take him – but of course there are always the Redskins to take some useless misfit!
    Didn’t the Redskins just revamp their roster, signing 50 new players to 90 man roster? None of them being “useless misfits.” They’re on the Pats now…

    You sound like someone from the Cowboys or Raiders… Al Davis is that you? Jerry Jones quit trying to be like Al.

  16. First of all, the OSU players in question were allowed to play in the bowl last year if they promised to stay in school and serve their 5 game suspension this year. That arrangement alone should be enough to make us all vomit. Now people are surprised that Pryor has changed his mind? Letting him sit for a year is the only answer to a situation Pryor himself created.

  17. I don’t see how he could get in the draft. This writer suggest Prior is being treated unfair. How say when the kid torched OSU football program, allowed to be wined and dined by numerous schools knowing all along he was going to OSU and it was never in doubt -had to be on the big stage; complained he needed the money and drove numerous cars that no one else on campus got to do.

    In the end he destroyed OSU football program and now he wants us the NFL to feel sorry for him. He quit on his on volition and could have played another year for OSU but the bennies would have been gone.

    The kid costs his coach a career job and ruined his reputation and the least thing, the NFL owes him nothing, nothing at all. Let him stew for a year.

  18. All you holier-than-thou posters that are urging the NFL to “not cater to this spoiled brat, let him sit for a year!!!” need to stop and realize the point of this article. The Supplemental Draft is for college athletes that have had their circumstances change significantly since the draft in April. As of draft day in April, Pryor was suspended for five games, but eligible to practice all week, participate in team activites, and to play the final seven games of the year plus the postseason. Since then, his head coach has left, the program has been turned upside down, and Pryor himself was ruled ineligible to be with the team at all next season. Caleb King, an RB from Georgia, is eligible for this year’s Supplemental Draft after being ruled academically ineligible for the season. In other words, the dude is a high-profile football player and flunked out of an SEC school, which is no small feat. Where are the people clamoring for this guy to “sit out a year to teach him a lesson”?

    As an Ohio State fan, I will always remember Pryor for the damage he inflicted on this program, and his absolute refusal to grow up. But precedent and basic logic suggests that he absolutely should be eligible for the Supplemental Draft.

  19. Once again having a lawyer as the owner/operator of this site is great. The NFL is totally wrong, and at least one media person is holding them accountable for their screw up.

    A statement this bold would not come from ESPN, who showed their lack of cajones when it cancelled Playmakers because the NFL threatened to cut them off. BSPN’s (not a typo) coverage of the lockout was so owner friendly that I thought that its anchors were under the power of the maenad from season two of True Blood.

    Hopefully, because so many people view this site it may help the NFL to do the right thing, but even then it won’t be because it is the right thing to do but to save face. And if the right thing is done, even if forced to to save face, then it is still a win.

  20. The NFL should have decided on his eligibility long ago regardless of what they decide. Why haven’t they decided at this point, with two days to go? It’s unfair to him, regardless of how you feel about him.

  21. All you people talking about letting someone get off without punishment don’t have a clue as to what’s going on. It’s not the NFL’s responsibility to punish someone for breaking NCAA’s rules. That makes no sense whatsoever.

    As for the “rules” regarding the supplemental draft, I have no clue what you’re referencing. All I’ve ever seen posted regarding the entrance requirements is that it’s for players whose eligibility circumstances have changed since the draft, which they clearly have.

    I don’t care if you think he’ll be a terrible QB or not, that has no impact on his ability or chance to get drafted. Lots of terrible QB prospects get drafted every year, wake the hell up.

  22. If I were Pryor I’d just tell Ohio St something like, “do you really want me to talk to the NCAA about EVERYTHING I know?” Ohio St and/or NCAA should be begging the NFL to let him in, otherwise they’re risking sitting around for an entire year with the opportunity to air their dirty laundry. Keep in mind that he has refused to speak to the NCAA until this point…

  23. Doesn’t Pryor have grounds for a lawsuit here? He is at a complete and total competitive disadvantage despite his eligibility case being similiar to guys in the past. The lateness of the draft, coupled with the fact that he has been omitted despite him being cleaner than many players that have been drafted in the past is going to cost him a lot of money. I’m surprised he hasn’t filed suit.

    I’m not a Pryor fan, but I am a football fan, and Pryor is a football player. I want to see him get a fair shake.

  24. 1. Remember, Pryor’s offense was selling a few trinkets and autographs for a tatoo. Jim Tressel’s lying to NCAA and coverup is what brought OSU down, not Pryor.

    2. OSU was going to suspend Pryor for a year. So Pryor announced for the supplemental draft. When was that? It was during the NFL lockout, when there was technically no CBA. Therefore the NFL had no rules on eligibility for the supplemental draft.

    3. Any determination of lack of eligibility by Rodger Goodell should be immediately followed by Pryor’s lawyer with a) an injunction against the supplemental draft, b) an injunction against the NFL season, c) a request for major damages, d) a determination that he is a free agent and doesn’t need the draft to enter the NFL, eligible to negotiate with any and all teams.

  25. Terrelle Pryor’s situation has not changed since the suspension was levied back in December. He is still facing a 5-game suspension. He had plenty of time to transfer to another school. If he went to a FCS school, he could serve his 5 games and play. If he went to a FBS school, he could redshirt, serve his 5 games, and play.

    The coach at OSU being replaced and him not returning Pryor’s calls does not mean he cannot continue his collegiate career. He just cannot do it at OSU.

    Of course, there is still the issue pending that he may have taken further improper benefits such as a car to drive and cash. That is still under investigation. If he transferred and those allegations were true, he could end up not playing at his new school, but they are a non-issue because no one has ruled on them. Oh wait, they are a non-issue unless they are true and you know what is coming.

    But, again, he has not been levied ANY new suspensions since December from the NCAA and Pryor announced he was leaving OSU, not the other way around. Was OSU dumping him inevitable? Probably. But, he should have let them do it.

    Pryor played the game. He failed. Again. The CFL is willing and waiting.

  26. @ brasho

    A lawsuit? LoL…how typical of our mindset, he should have grounds to file a lawsuit b/c he f’ed up and now he is being punished? You’re the type who tries to look for the easy way out in everything, right? Uses up all the governmental privileges you can get your hands on, purchasing your alcohol, tobacco, $200 dollar J’s, etc w/ your cash (that you probably don’t work for) while going to a convenient store and using your food stamps on garbage and on section 8 housing paying $100 a month for your apt and still behind. Constantly looking for the easy way out.

    @ tjvo

    This circumstance is completely different than any other that I can personally remember. He was allowed to play (which was sickening) b/c he, and the others, promised to stay and serve their punishment. But as more violations kept coming to fruition his punishment has gotten worse. Weird as it may be to expect people to be punished for their actions it’s just the way it is…

  27. I cannot understand why some people do not think this young man deserves an opportunity to compete for a job. His only ‘crime’ seems to that he dared to take advantage of a system that takes advantage of him and got caught. He has broken no laws. He should be allowed the opportunity to earn a living using his talents. If he isn’t good enough, then everyone can move on. But to deny him the opportunity based on a perception of ‘likeability’ seems to go against the very concept of the American way of doing things. How can the NFL and its fans rectify the concept of giving second and third chances to young men who have broken the law, injured or killed other people and in turn deny Pryor a first chance to prove that he can play and earn a living because he broke NCAA rules?

  28. As an amendment to what I posted earlier, I do not believe that Pryor will be a great NFL quarterback. I doubt that he will even be an average quarterback, but he deserves the chance to flame out of the league. If somebody in the league, all it takes is one team, but if they believe that he has talent, then give him that chance. If he blows it it will be on him.

    So many of you were throwing a lot of hate Mike Vick’s way two years ago, last year, and still. Look what Mike Vick was able to do given the chance that many of you believe he never should have gotten. Give him the chance and see what he does with it.

    The NFL’s penalty program is not and never will be an extension of the NCAA’s program. All Pryor has done is break some NCAA rules, but no actual laws. He has failed to put in the necessary work needed to be a great QB, chosing instead to rely solely on his immense physical talents.

    If Mike Vick’s career is any example, you can only go so far on pure athletic ability in lieu of studying, intense preparation, film study. In order to have consistent success Shannon Sharpe’s Hall of Fame words prove true, Determination, Dedication, and Discipline. Terrelle Pryor will not be successful unless he has those things, but he serves to chance to show if he can do it at the next level. He at least deserves to not have his case drug out to the very last minute.

  29. The whole buddy relationship between the FCB and NFL is crooked. Worse than even this issue is the NFL being allowed to force their supposedly competing teams to not be able to sign anyone before they are one year out of high school. That gives kids the “choice” of:

    1. Signing up for a college program that forces them to risk injury or poor performance for room, board, and an education that they may not be interested in and may well be worth far less than what they could make if they could be drafted by an NFL team.

    2. Sign for a much lesser league where they would have to risk injury or poor performance for less than they could potentially make in the NFL.

    3. Don’t play for a year which will obviously lower their draft value.

  30. You kill me.
    NO NO NO.
    He quit The Ohio State football team rather then answer questions from the NCAA about possible rules infractions HE may have committed. At the time he was only under an agreed upon 5 game suspension. Nobody forced him to quit and if you let him in, then ANY player from here on out can quit and hire an agent AFTER the regular NFL draft and you will have to let him in too.
    Letting him in the supplemental draft would just set a horrible and irrevocable president.

  31. Isn’t it probable that he will do better by waiting until the regular draft? I can’t see anyone using higher than a 5th rounder on him in the supplemental. He’d probably do better in the regular draft.
    It seems like more teams would be likely to reach with a higher draft pick then. At this stage of the pre-season, I can’t imagine a team burning a higher draft pick on a kid who will no doubt be asked to learn a new position and become a project.

    I smell Drew Rosenmouth all over this one. HE wants money right now….

  32. laxer37 says:Aug 15, 2011 7:53 AM

    Great article, let’s break the rules that are in place to further reinforce to Pryor that the rules of society don’t apply to him.

    Enablers like you are why Pryor is in this mess.



  33. @waylander2772 No one is stating he cannot earn a living. The CFL is an option as is the AFL. He can also return to college. The NFL has rules in place. If you “choose” to be a lawyer, you cannot bypass law school and skip the bar and just practice law. Some jobs have rules. The NFL has rules to entry. Pryor could have opted to declare for the draft. He made the decision to not do that. Now, he wants special treatment.

    @godofwine330 Mike Vick is a great example. He went to jail. He served his time. He served his suspension. He took every step to gain entry back to the league and never asked for special treatment. He even signed a prove it deal and worked his way back. Pryor can do the same in 2012. Pryor put himself in this position, not the NFL.

    @zerored78 Your one year away from high school is basketball, not football. The NFL requires players to be 3-years removed from high school, not 1. It is in the CBA. The NFLPA negotiated that less than a month ago. Odd, the current players did not see a need to change it. As I mentioned earlier, some jobs have requirements for entry. You cannot be under 35 and be POTUS either. Should they amend that so an 18-year old can run for office?

    And, signing a kid up for college football gives him a chance to get an education without paying a damn dime. I will fork out over $100,000 for my son’s education. Too bad he cannot throw a football better and then he could get it for free while accepting illegal kickbacks from boosters.

    Hey, here is a great idea, we should also not require police officers to have any type of training. If they can work the hours, put them on. Doctors? No need for medical school, can you stand by a table and cut? Lawyers? Who needs law school, just stand up and argue. Just because someone thinks someone else should get a job means that there should not be restrictions for getting it.


  34. I think some may be missing the point. The NFL is not “punishing” Pryor for anything that violated the NCAA rules. I doubt they are keeping him out as a favor to the NCAA either.

    The NFL’s single issue is that there are rules that govern eligibility in the draft system that need to be protected or the future of the draft itself is jeopardized. I think the NFL’s beef with Pryor is that they feel he manipulated the system to increase the time-frame (5 games to the entire season) of his ineligibility for NCAA and thus make himself eligible for the supplemental draft.

    He was allowed to play after 5 games (meaning he was not eligible for NFL SD) and then he tanked a meeting in May and suddenly he might not be allowed to play at all (suddenly eligible for NFL SD)

    Letting Pryor set this precedent will devalue the NFL draft system since any athlete could then manipulate the system and be rewarded with $375,000+ from the NFL.

  35. Pryor is yet another overrated OSU player and he will NOT be a postitive factor int eh NFL. If allowed in sup draft he needs to go to Browns or Bengals so he stays in that crap hole state of OHIO! GO STEELERS!

  36. First of all he said he was coming back to Ohio State. He left the team. He was suspended….not ineligible to play. How only became ineligible after asking the university to rule him ineligible. The NFL, I’m sure, is looking at this very carefully. What is to stop another player from doing the same thing if he walks away from another team/university?

    The way this thing is being handled is no fault of the NFL. Pryor did this to himself.

  37. @tmc4real Thanks for correcting me that it’s 3 years and even worse for the players. Yes, the NFLPA negotiated it, but the people that have not been drafted yet that are impacted are not NFLPA members and have no say.

    Yes, the POTUS has an age requirement because it was encoded into the Constitution of our country. I don’t think that is really comparable. The multiple instances where employers have been found guilty of age discrimination because they refused to hire someone solely due to age are far more comparable. Also, I think that the fact that many baseball, hockey, and soccer players here and across the world are given professional contracts at 18 or younger is more than enough evidence to show that the NFL and NBA’s arguments that they are protecting younger players are hogwash.

    I’d have no issue with individual teams refusing to sign people before a certain age. The are valid arguments that signing someone out of high school, no matter how good they were, is too much of a risk. I have a problem when all of the teams and the organization of existing players collude to benefit themselves at the expense of some younger players.

  38. It is not the place of the NFL to bend over to the will of every punk who is facing justifiable suspension from a college team.

    It is the responsibility of potential members of the league to comply with the rules of the NFL.

  39. The NFL and the NCAA have an understanding to delay Pryor’s future because they felt embarrassed on how they handled the Ohio State situation dating back to delaying the suspensions for the Bowl game.

    The NCAA should have suspended Pryor and the other Ohio State players for the bowl game.
    The NCAA didn’t because they did not want to lose money.
    Now that Pryor is moving on with his life and the NFL is in a the right position to handle a single request from a future player and they are just fumbling one mistake after another.

  40. tmc4real: First of all choosing to be a lawyer and choosing to be an entertainer are not the same thing. And you do not need to attend law school to practice law. You have to pass the State Bar Exam, but this is a government mandated license that ensures that a practicing lawyer has a base level of knowledge and skill. It is there to protect potential clients from receiving poor legal guidance.

    There is no licensing for entertainers, their ability to practice their craft is determined by the purchasing public’s desire to see them. If Pryor has the required skills and abilities then why would the NFL prohibit him from seeking an opportunity to get a job with one of their member franchises? Because he broke an NCAA rule? By that reasoning, anyone fired for cause should remain unemployed for life, or at least until a vote of complete strangers who have only a cursory knowledge of an individual’s circumstances decides it is OK. What does the NFL have to gain by keeping him out? Why is it the NFL’s position to punish players who broke NCAA rules? When has he ‘paid his dues?’ Who determines it? You?

    If you want to stop the coddling of these young athletes, stop watching them. Don’t pay to go to games, don’t buy their jerseys. Don’t support the system. But spare us all the soapbox homilies condemning the player and forgiving a crooked system that created him.

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