Why suspend Terrelle Pryor but not Pete Carroll?


Late last year Ohio State announced that quarterback Terrelle Pryor would be suspended for the first five games of the 2011 season. Pryor ultimately left Ohio State when it turned out that the scandal enveloping the football program was even more extensive than previously thought, and he was chosen by the Raiders in Monday’s supplemental draft. But the NFL announced before he was allowed into the league that he’d still be suspended five games.

That has some people asking: Why did Pete Carroll get to leave a scandal of his own behind when he resigned as the coach at USC, and become head coach of the Seahawks without any punishment?

One person asking that question is Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer, who told 106.7 The Fan in Washington, D.C., that whether you’re a player or a coach, you shouldn’t get a free pass to the NFL if you break NCAA rules on your way to the pros.

“I’d appreciate the NFL working with the colleges,” Beamer said, via SportsRadioInterviews.com. “If you’ve done something wrong in college you can’t take the next step and just walk away from it. I think the NFL is sending a message and hopefully it’ll hold up in court and we can be consistent throughout.”

Asked specifically about Carroll and whether he should have served a suspension before his NFL career could start, just as Pryor will, Beamer said that sounds good to him.

“I agree totally,” Beamer said. “I don’t think you can be somewhere, something happens and you just walk away and take the next step.”

It’s an interesting question: Why are coaches like Carroll simply allowed leave the NCAA for the NFL whenever they want, while players like Pryor have to apply for the privilege of playing in the NFL? Beamer thinks that’s an unfair double standard.

60 responses to “Why suspend Terrelle Pryor but not Pete Carroll?

  1. Look, college football is headed in a very bad direction right now. Three of the five most legendary programs (tO$U, Miami, USC) in college football history have been screwed and will continue to be screwed, snake oil salesmen like Nick Saban are winning titles, and if the SEC were investigated as a whole, half of the teams would be ineligible to play next season.

    Because of the climate of NCAA football, the NFL HAD to set a precedent. If you’re the NFL, you really, really don’t want the supplemental draft to grow in terms of players entered and drafted because then you are compromising the training pool of people who will work for your organization by accepting insubordination. The only mistake Goodell made was giving him a 5 game suspension instead of 6.

  2. If pryor would have just declared himself draft eligible, instead of staying for that blackmailed promise he was forced into before the bowl game, this would be a non issue. When you leave this kind of stuff in Goodell’s hands you know he’s gonna throw the hammer down.

  3. For the same reason there are significant restrictions on college players transferring, but a college coach can quit between the end of the regular season and the team’s bowl game to take a new job.

  4. Wait, what did Pete Carroll do at USC? Was he investigated?

    Him leaving USC is more akin to Jeff Van Gundy leaving the Knicks. He knew the situation was going to get worse in the future, so he bolted. Nothing wrong with that.

    There’s nothing here.

  5. Look, I can’t tell you why Pete Caroll wasn’t suspended, but we can’t use it as an excuse for why Pryor shouldn’t. The NFL needs to start assisting the NCAA in making sure this sh!t stops. College is supposed to be a place for heightening your education, not making money and breaking rules. College is supposed to help you create your future, not to create morally corrupt athletes. I don’t always agree with Rog, but I think he got this one right.

  6. This would have made sense if you use Reggie Bush instead of Pete Carroll. Carroll was never investigated or sanctioned for conduct at the school, and there’s no proof that he knew what was going on with Bush.

  7. Dumbest analogy ever. First, Carroll was never suspended by the NCAA. Second, Pryor was ineligible for the supplemental draft. Goodell didn’t have to let him in at all. If he’d have declared in time for the regular draft, he wouldn’t have been suspended.

  8. what a terrible example.

    first off, carroll was never investigated or suspended by the NCAA, Pryor WAS. these are 2 completely different scenarios.

    IF carroll had been suspended for violating NCAA rules THEN decided to bolt for the Seahawks, at that point there would be a similarity. Pryor was suspended already by the NCAA, prior to leaving in attempt to enter the Supplemental draft.

    If you want to suspend Carroll, then you’d better suspend Reggie Bush too. The list could go on and on…what about this list of Miami players??

    Point being, you’re comparing apples to oranges.

  9. just like the DE from North Carolina was able to be picked up after the supplemental draft after he cheated and violated NCAA rules with no punishment.

    I guess the rules only apply for Big name atheletes and not for coaches or borderline players

  10. Whether its Big Ben vs Haynesworth vs Talib’s punishment or Carroll vs Pryor’s punishment, I really with people would stop trying to compare different infractions as a way to argue for similar punishment.

    I’m getting deja vu on the Vick vs Stallworth jailtime.

  11. This is the dumbest comparison ever! The NCAA committee didn’t find that Carroll did anything. If he would have stayed he wouldn’t have faced a suspension.
    Completely different situations.
    A comparison between Bush and Pryor would be more fair, as Bush was named and found to have taken things but still the situations aren’t the same.
    I’m so sick of people bringing up Carroll like they have a valid argument.

  12. @derekjetersmansion

    What did he do?

    He and USC knew what had been going on there, and Bush was the tip of the iceberg.

    Carroll knew it was coming and bolted before anything could stick to him.

    Carroll is getting his though. He’s stuck coaching the Seahawks.

  13. NFL is not the NCAA

    NFL needs to but out of anything that happened in NCAA (Pryor, Carroll, Miami, etc)

    Pryor being suspended is wrong on the principle, that it is not the NFL’s job to punish for NCAA infractions.

    Carroll should not be suspended nor face anything from the NFL, it is not the NFL’s job to punish for NCAA infractions.

    Once again the NFL is not the NCAA

    Goodell is trying to make the NFL look good and gain favor with this whole Pryor thing but the NFL has no place in NCAA business.

    Keep the NCAA out of the NFL and the NFL out of the NCAA.

  14. Both Carroll and Reggie Bush should have faced punishment for what happened at USC. Yes, I understand Carroll himself wasn’t specifically investigated but he had multiple years where he was offered NFL jobs and “coincidentally” takes one right before the NCAA put their sanctions on the program.

    Again, it just goes to prove moreso that the NCAA just can’t deal with all these programs effectively. And the fault should go on the NCAA as much as it should on the individual colleges.

  15. To everyone saying “Carroll wasn’t suspended by NCAA”…NEITHER WAS PRIOR. Prior was suspended by Ohio St. for internal investigations, right? USC had sanctions coming that would have significantly affected Pete. Parallel works because both hopped to NFL to avoid punishments. Getting bowl eligibility and previous wins ripped is worse for a coach than game suspensions.

    Bottom line, Goodell shouldn’t be allowed to throw out unprecedented suspensions based on grey guidelines that he decides by himself case by case. This power trip by the commish is hurting the league.

  16. OK say Jim Tressel wants to be hired into the NFL. That would be a little more comparable since he WAS investigated and found to be liable. Did he not get to be paid the rest of his contract? Not sure.

    Should the NFL not let him be hired? I say that the NFL has no business policing NCAA investigations and violations as far as punishing people for them once they get to the NFL. So they should have ruled Pryor ineligible OR not suspended him and let him in.

    Sad that people not getting paid are held to higher standards that those who ARE getting paid and have knowledge of violations, are in position of authority and don’t report them through the proper channels though.

  17. The NCAA needs to clean up it’s own house. They’ve known for decades about shady recruiting practices, player payoffs, player trouble being hushed by local police, players not attending any classes but still passing, etc. Now that things are getting really out of hand from a PR standpoint they want to get a handle on it. But their sense of urgency has nothing to do with right and wrong. It’s about perception. If the press didn’t report on any of this and the reports went directly to the NCAA instead, do you think they’d be making a big deal about this or just sweeping it under the rug?

    The thing that makes this a dangerous precedent, other than that fact that the commissioner can apply “the rules” willy nilly as he sees fit and is guilty of exactly the same PR hypocrisy as the NCAA, is that it begs the question about who else should be punished as they come into the league.

    Roger Goodell is supposed to be there to enforce the rules, not act as a morality monitor who decides which cases need new rules invented in order to respond to them. If he applies the same standard to everyone else that he did Pryor, then yes, Pete Carroll should have been punished, the guys involved with any college scandal should be punished (Miami, Reggie Bush, etc) and the guys who got themselves declared acedemically inelligible due to academic fraud and had to apply for the supplemental draft as a result should also be punished. But let’s not stop there. The guy who was in a bar in college and defended a friend or teammate in a situation that ultimately ended in a fight and a ticket for misdemeanor disturbing the peace, let’s punish him too.

    If a rule is on the books, enforce it, if not do not. People should treat morality just like politics and religion: mind your own business, raise your children correctly, look out for your neighbors and let them settle their own issues. If someone is a bad apple, it will catch up with them.

  18. @notoriousbri says:
    Aug 23, 2011 3:27 PM

    Not to mention Marvin Austin, the DT from UNC who started the whole meltdown there. He was drafted in the 2nd round. Why is he not suspended?

  19. Last time I checked, the coaches are not (a) bound to the player conduct rules and (b) part of the CBA or NFLPA that allows the NFL to suspend players.

    Now, if there is a coaches union and they have a formal coach conduct rule in their agreement with the NFL, then by all means do the same.

  20. “Dumbest analogy ever. First, Carroll was never suspended by the NCAA. ”

    Exactly. This thread is one of the most stupid posts ever. No sanctions were ever placed against Pete Carroll , or fault found with him, for Reggie Bush’s indiscretions. There was no direct evidence that he knew anything about payments to Bush or his family. The NCAA determined that the USC compliance office should have been monitoring it’s top athletes more closely – not the head coach. For that reason, USC was deemed to have Loss of Institutional Control. Ohio State has placed full blame for its scandal on Jim Tressel, the head coach. Neither USC or the NCAA found any fault with Pete Carroll.

  21. I agree with all who say Pryor shouldn’t face suspension. Instead, Goodell should have held up NFL rules and made him wait until the 2012 draft.

  22. depotnator says:
    Aug 23, 2011 4:04 PM
    “Dumbest analogy ever. First, Carroll was never suspended by the NCAA. ”

    Exactly. This thread is one of the most stupid posts ever. No sanctions were ever placed against Pete Carroll , or fault found with him, for Reggie Bush’s indiscretions. There was no direct evidence that he knew anything about payments to Bush or his family. The NCAA determined that the USC compliance office should have been monitoring it’s top athletes more closely – not the head coach. For that reason, USC was deemed to have Loss of Institutional Control. Ohio State has placed full blame for its scandal on Jim Tressel, the head coach. Neither USC or the NCAA found any fault with Pete Carroll.


    Absolutely incorrect. Are you a USC booster?

    The reason Carroll was not suspended was because he left USC and hasn’t bothered to look back or talk to the NCAA.

    Are you seriously so naive to think that Pete Carroll just missed the NFL so much, he would leave the best college football program in the land for the Seahawks????

    Take your medicine, Chief

  23. Wasnt there a lock-out going on when Tressel resigned? How can they say that TP tried to avoid NCAA punishment when he was going to be ineligible anyway? The Supplemental Draft (for players who are ineligible due academics or conduct) date wasn’t set due to the lock-out going on. The suspension makes no sense.

  24. I’ve posted the same thing on several different sites. If you are going to suspend Pryor from the NFL for things he did in college, you have to suspend everyone. That means Reggie Bush and all of the players involved in Miamigate retroactive to 2002. IF Pete Carroll was implicated in any wrongdoing, he should be suspended too.

  25. Carroll left because he saw impending sanctions against USC, not because he feared being suspended. How often does that even happen anyway? You really have to be found directly responsible for some bad stuff to be suspended.

  26. @martinmayhew4president Pryor quit. He wasn’t ineligible. The supplemental draft is not for players quitting; it’s for players who had their eligibility status change between the time of the original draft declaration deadline and the supplemental draft. By Pryor’s own admission, Goodell didn’t have to make him eligible for the supplemental draft.

    Goodell could have saved himself a lot of headaches by simply not giving Pryor the exception, and making him wait for the 2012 draft (where he wouldn’t have been suspended).

  27. first…the nfl is wrong to suspend pryor…plain and simple…

    secondly, have we forgotten that 40% of nfl rosters are felons?

  28. 1) You must be declared ineligible to play for the entire season by the NCAA. Pryor was not deemed ineligible for the entire season by the NCAA, just 5 games.

    2) Pryor left OSU on his own. He was not kicked out of the school and was not suspended by the team. He was banned from using campus facilities AFTER he withdrew from the school.

    Both of these show that there was no way that Pryor was eligible for the supplemental draft. Instead of asking why Pryor was suspended, how about ask why he was allowed to be in the draft after clearly not meeting the requirements.

    This was obviously a deal worked out between Pryor, his agent, and Goodell. If it weren’t, no player would accept the loss of money out of the gate without a fight.

    Please, stop buying the sport tabloid viewpoint pushed by ESPN and some others here that this had anything to do with the college suspension outside of the fact that Pryor was still completely eligible to compete in this upcoming collegiate season.

  29. I see that Pryor is an all out effort to redeem his image by kissing the behinds of those in the sports media. He’s know painted as a victim of a system that practices double standard by those who thought nothing wrong it was okay to throw a QB and his father under the NCAA bus to help feed silly school rivalry…Go Figure.

  30. …because the suspension has nothing to do with his college violations. He was never found ineligible for the whole season until he hired an agent AFTER the draft. It has to do with how he skirted around the NFL draft rules. If he would have declared himself in April you think he would be serving an NFL suspension? Absolutely NOT.

    The NFL just put themselves out there looking like idiots by allowing him into the supplemental draft at all, and then made it even worse by suspending the guy before he even signs a contract for the same number of games as he would have in college.

  31. Why suspend Terrelle Pryor but not Pete Carroll?

    Because Goodell is a lame, inconsistent idiot.

    Another reason…I don’t know if Goodell CAN suspend a coach. As far as I know league discipline is subject to collective bargaining, and the coaches aren’t unionized.

  32. Why suspend Big Ben and not Perrish Cox?

    Cox is guilty, he claimed they didn’t have sex but she ended up pregnant with his baby.


    And yet, he plays on.

  33. Goodell does what he wants when he wants to. His power is absolute; completely unchecked; and grievously abused on a regular basis. From a practical perspective, he answers to no one.

    Why so many players smooch Goodell’s backside is beyond me. I get why the owners line up behind him – but the players??? At least James Harrison called him out — and later apologized to everyone but Goodell.

    It would be great if Goodell were replaced (or at least tried de-caf), but there’s no chance of that happening – ownership has their henchman in place, and public sentiment is largely anti-player when it comes to labor negotiations.

  34. Pretty cheap shot here (and a clueless one) on Pete Carroll. His name didn’t even appear in the NCAA sanctions report (note: Reggie Bush AND the USC Tennis Coach did)!

  35. I don’t condone the way the major USC athletic programs had numerous NCAA violations (the former AD suffered the consequences). Exactly what regulations did Pete Carroll violate? He is not named in the NCAA investigation. This is possibly a case of willful ignorance, but his culpability does not even rise to the level of Tressel.

    There are a lot of college coaches out there who do not want to know how their scholarship running back is driving a nice used BMW to class.

  36. Sure, let’s suspend Carroll. Then let’s start handing out suspensions to everyone who ever played at “The U”. We won’t stop until Ray Lewis and Michael Irvin hand over their Super Bowl rings…

  37. Tell it to Ben Roethlisberger.

    Goodell’s actions are whimsical and capricious lacking rhyme or reason.

    He destroys the Patriot cheating tapes a nanosecond after receiving them but suspends Roethlisberger for FOUR GAMES (down from the sham six) without any arrest being made.

    If James Harrison did anything on par with the dirty cheap shot, knee jacking, head clubbing, nose breaking hits that Roethlisberger takes almost evey game he would barred from the NFL for LIFE.

    The NFL needs a new commissioner. Seriously. Goodell is dirty, sleazy and corrupt. He has 0.0000000% credibility.

  38. What kind of dumbass would want to suspend Carroll? He didn’t do anything wrong at USC, don’t blame him for Reggie Bush’s transgressions. Also there isn’t some draft process for coaches that determine eligibility.

    Lastly, screw the NCAA. Pryor and other rule-breaking athletes should be able to jump to the NFL to escape punishment if they want to. Why the hell should the NFL give a flying **** about NCAA rule breaking? Roger the Racist Goodell should be taken out back and executed.

  39. Obviously, there is a double-standard. Where does it come from? If Pryor was a white kid like Mallet, would he have been treated differently?Getting into the details of his supposed malfeasance, he didn’t really do anything nearly as bad as the cheaters who came before, and waltzed into the NFL to acclaim.Reggie Bush, Pete Carrol, etc.He switched around between used cars?Memorabilia?Please.This was a goof by Goodell, and if he appeals, he might lessen the suspension. The reason Pryor says it’s up to Al, is that strategically, it might behoove the team to teach him up off the roster until the cuts come down.For the kid to recognize that and bow to Al means he’s smart.Just might do really well.I’m pulling for the kid, he’s a great athlete that caught a raw deal.

  40. The difference is very clear. Carrol bolted slightly before anything got called out, Pryor left a little after things came out. If I’ve learned one thing from bank robbery movies, its that sometimes it’s not a question of what you did, but of when you leave.

  41. Long story short?!

    The transatlantic slave trade of the seventeenth century through the early nineteenth century unleashed the first wave of global domination by European powers. These subjects of conquest were invariably defined as backward, wild, uncivilized, and even savage or subhuman. They were presumably not “governed by laws.”

    Religious and political debates raged over perceived racial differences in the human population, and many “court” scholars and philosophers reasoned that the indigenous peoples of Africa, did not have souls and were thus exempt from the panoply of rights granted to free and rational individuals. By the mid-nineteenth century these pseudoscientific theories of a natural hierarchy of races were well-established in Europe and in the Americas. These ideas easily took hold in the United States and played a critical role in shaping the ideologies that define the culture. With this documented history we have context.

    A perceived infringement of rules, regardless the degree, by African Americans are subconsciously, collectively seen as a power grab that is a threat to the social order and therefore cannot go unpunished. Invariably these infractions produce a society wide involuntary, zealous response that requires the actor be made an example of. By so doing this has the effect of a panacea for the majority that are comforted and reassured by such ‘accountability’ and maintenance of the status quo…..see-Jack Johnson, Muhammed Ali, Curt Flood, Joe Louis, Plexico…etc etc….


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