NFL affirms Terrelle Pryor’s five-game suspension


The NFL has rejected the appeal of Raiders rookie quarterback Terrelle Pryor, saying that Pryor will remain suspended for the first five games of the regular season for “improperly manipulating the NFL’s eligibility rules.”

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell released a statement saying Pryor attempted to sidestep the league’s rules on eligibility by purposely getting himself declared ineligible to play his senior season at Ohio State. The Raiders can add Pryor to their active roster following their game at Houston on October 9.

“Based on Mr. Pryor’s actions, I believe it is a fair conclusion that he intentionally took steps to ensure that he would be declared ineligible for further college play and would be able to enter the NFL via the Supplemental Draft,” Goodell said in the statement. “Taken as a whole, I found that this conduct was tantamount to a deliberate manipulation of our eligibility rules in a way that distorts the underlying principles and calls into question the integrity of those rules.”

Goodell said Pryor first decided he wanted to leave Ohio State and then took actions to make himself ineligible “to hasten the day when he could pursue a potentially lucrative professional career in the NFL.”

According to Goodell, the NFL has an interest in keeping players from circumventing the rules regarding applying for the supplemental draft, which takes place in the summer if any players have had their college eligibility status change since the deadline to declare for the regular draft.

“This smacks of a calculated effort to manipulate our eligibility rules in a way that undermines the integrity of, and public confidence in, those rules,” Goodell said. “Mr. Pryor made an affirmative decision to remain in college and play for Ohio State in 2011. He later reconsidered and decided that he wanted to enter the NFL. In order to do so, he needed to forfeit his remaining college eligibility and took steps to ensure that would happen. Based on the specific facts presented here, I conclude that Mr. Pryor’s actions warranted imposition of conditions on his entry into the NFL, namely, that he serve the same five-game suspension that he had previously agreed to while at Ohio State.”

The question of Pryor has now been settled, but questions remain about whether the NFL will also impose future suspensions that were originally handed down by the NCAA or college teams. It wouldn’t seem to be the NFL’s place to impose college suspensions, but that’s the path that this ruling seems to be heading down.

59 responses to “NFL affirms Terrelle Pryor’s five-game suspension

  1. “Based on Mr. Pryor’s actions, I believe it is a fair conclusion that he intentionally took steps to ensure that he would be declared ineligible for further college play and would be able to enter the NFL via the Supplemental Draft,” Goodell said in the statement. “Taken as a whole, I found that this conduct was tantamount to a deliberate manipulation of our eligibility rules in a way that distorts the underlying principles and calls into question the integrity of those rules.”

    Then why was he eligible for the supplemental draft? If you believed he did it on purpose you had the full right to not let him in the draft to begin with. Since he was in the draft, and you’re now saying it was a mistake, shouldn’t whoever made the decision to let him in the draft be disciplined as well?

  2. I’m not a big fan of Goodell, but he definitely got this one right.
    Of course I would’ve preferred for him to rule Pryor ineligible for the Supplemental draft from the start, but his statement is 100% correct.

  3. Terrelle Pryor is a powerful man. He convinced Ohio State to fire it’s long term head coach simply so he could hasten his entry into the NFL.
    A calculated, deliberate, effort to circumvent the rules. It’s amazing that Jim Tressel still stands by him after being used as a tool that way.

  4. The reason why Roger Goodell rules the NFL with an iron fist is because at home his wife wears the pants so he feels the need to exercise authority elsewhere.

  5. He makes a good point. Pryor showed interest in returning to OSU until Tressel was ousted, then decided he wanted to enter the supplemental draft. Whether he would have been suspended for 2011 or not is beside the point.

  6. “It wouldn’t seem to be the NFL’s place to impose college suspensions, but that’s the path that this ruling seems to be heading down.”

    That’s not what theyre doing at all. They’ve made it VERY clear they punished him for circumventing rules of eligibility for the NFL draft. I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say Drew might have “helped” Pryor figure out what he needed to do. TP doesn’t seem bright enough to figure it out on his own.

  7. “It wouldn’t seem to be the NFL’s place to impose college suspensions, but that’s the path that this ruling seems to be heading down.”

    – – – – –

    I disagree with your last statement. The NFL isn’t imposing the suspension for the same reason the NCAA would have. And other players who have been punished by the NCAA, such as Reggie Bush, wouldn’t be similarly punished by the NFL because they didn’t break any of the NFL’s rules. Terrelle Pryor did.

  8. They could of ruled him inelig. for the supp draft, but this I see as the compromise… but… truth be told… I really don’t think the NFL should hold a player that is not in college to come into the league even if it is via the supp draft… School & Job are different, period. That said… Pryor can get paid an NFL salary in 5 weeks after blatantly breaking NCAA rules that played a huge part in costing his coach his O St. career.

  9. Goodell’s statement has done nothing to dispel my belief that he is extremely condescending, aloof, and has an undeserved sense of accomplishment and importance.

  10. Why don’t just make NCAA football an official training ground for the NFL? That’s what it is. And that’s not a bad thing at all, so embrace it. Saying otherwise is like saying you love 95 degree weather. You tell everyone it fits you because you’re so cool, but when you’re sitting out in it, you hold on the longest trying to prove your point, but you’re running for the AC as soon as nobody’s looking. Frauds.

  11. I have a problem with this, just as I have a problem with Roger Goodell imposing penalties on players who had run-ins with the law during the lockout/union decertification.

    Every year, there are players who essentially quit going to school after the start of the calendar year and begin training for the NFL. There’s not a lot of difference between that and what Pryor did.

    I also believe that the NFL would have a hard time keeping a person from playing in its league no matter how many years of college he has completed. After all, every person in America has the right to pursue employment, and for the NFL to keep out Pryor based on these rules represents a monopoly, as well as arbitray and capricious decision-making.

    I can see why the NFL players hate Roger Goodell. He wants to be the judge, jury and supreme court for the discipline of NFL players who aren’t working or operating under a collective bargaining agreement. He also wants to impose punishment on a player coming into the NFL — although that player did nothing to violate NFL rules of conduct.

    What a power hungry dictator.

  12. It’s predictable.

    The fact that this was released on a Friday afternoon tells us the NFL knows this is dirty laundry that smells fishy.

    The NFL will silently protect the NCAA even if it violates the rights of individuals.

  13. Goodell is Judge , Jury and executionor. He is a unchecked power and needs to be removed.

    Pryor should not have been made eligible then. If you want maintain integrity then dont’ compromise it yourself.

    Pete Carroll needs to be suspended immediatly for the wreck he left USC in.

    Goodell Must Go

  14. Goodell: You’re suspended 5 games.

    Pryor: I really think you should reconsider your verdict.

    a month later….

    Goodell: No.

    Yeah… that always ends well. If he had just accepted it, he’d be playing in a cpl weeks… well practicing. He probably won’t be playing until preseason 2012.

  15. Even if you accept that Goodell has the authority to suspend Pryor, Im still failing to understand how he can suspend Tressel for several games while Pete Carroll can ride into the NFL while USC is being hit with sanctions and doesnt even get a slap on the wrist from the NFL.

  16. @ artflooney: That was a stupid, long, drawn-out analogy.

    Roger Goodell shouldn’t have even let him in the supplemental draft. It was clear that Pryor didn’t follow the rules of entering the supplemental draft but Goodell gave in just a little bit to keep people from screaming and whining. The suspension is only to show that he isn’t giving up ALL of his power.

    @ favreforever: You should get your facts straight because Pryor never convinced Ohio State to fire Tressel. Tressel resigned after the NCAA and Ohio State both found out that Tressel lied to them about Pryor receiving benefits. He also resigned AFTER Pryor was suspended.

  17. This only emphasises the right that NCAA football players should get paid. If the NFL is going to set up standards that NCAA players have to abide by, then they should also be paid. Just my opinion.

    Goodell is the worst commissioner the NFL has known and hard to believe there will be anyone worse.

  18. Who the hell cares? This guy will never amount to much in the NFL. Seriously, he was a marginal college QB at best. In three years max, he won’t even be in the league. Another awesome The Ohio State University bust.

  19. at least goodell is staying consistant with his double standards, what about pete carroll, reggie bush, etc? i hope suh gets the chance to pop his head of like its andy dalton

  20. Presumably T.P. was suspended FIVE YEARS from the U for TELLING THE TRUTH to investigators. How does that qualify as subterfuge in terms of gaining eligibility to enter the supplemental draft?

    Goodell is shoveling out sheer crap on this matter.

  21. This is such crap. If he was/is guilty of intentionally abusing the system, why did you then allow him to take part in the supplemental draft at all?

    I’m usually a fan of Goodell but this obvious pretext for enforcing NCAA is utter hogwash. Why can’t he just come out and say – “Look, people who screw over our farm system as a whole, as well as the individual teams aren’t going to then get to reap the benefit of that screw job.”

  22. Their ruling makes no sense. He purposely got kicked out of school? What, is that a communist college over there? I was under the impression that this was a free college and a player could leave at any time he wanted. Seems like he would have done that way before the draft, or just up and left.

  23. how is that sarcasm? you’re an idiot. there was no sarcasm in the statement you made. you’ve gotten facts wrong in two of your posts so far and your screen name is favreforever. you’re fired.

  24. I’m no Pryor fan, but I hate this decision along with many others. First, I’ve had about enough of Roger God-of-All making decisions from up on high with no review or accountability. The “NFL” didn’t reaffirm anything…Adolf Godell did…just like all major decisions involving suspensions, fines, etc. There needs to be a new, democratic process with real accountability.

    Secondly, the NFL has no moral authority whatsoever to punish players for what they did in college, or what they did while they weren’t employees of the NFL (see Cedric Benson). It’s patently absurd. Let him in, or don’t. If he manipulated your system, don’t let him in. Period.

    And don’t even get me started on the completely corrupt and bogus NCAA system that ensures players can’t even work a part-time job and allows coaches/schools to make millions.

  25. @ favreforever go to a board that speculates whether or not favre is coming back this year instead of TRYING to make intelligent comments when you are obviously not capable.

  26. This is Goodell’s way of getting his hands into the college game, and turning it into flag football too.

    Disgusting man.

  27. Stop it -we all knew that little king roger would twist logic to fit the presetermined outcome. How about an independent review of issues?

  28. “I’m not a big fan of Goodell, but he definitely got this one right.
    Of course I would’ve preferred for him to rule Pryor ineligible for the Supplemental draft from the start, but his statement is 100% correct.”



  29. Kingora,

    No matter how you feel about Pryor you calling him “a marginal college QB at best” makes you look like an uninformed idiot. Pryor went 31-4 at OSU, passed for 6177 yards, broke OSU QB rushing record of 2164 yards, 61% completion percentage, 57passing td, 26ints, not to mention 17 rushing tds and 3 receiving. That’s marginal?
    I bet you were one of the talent evaluators who said Can Newton would never succeed in the NFL.

  30. Interesting.

    While I do not think that the NFL should be policing actions of NCAA athletes, I think that Goodell came up with a fairly plausible way of coming up with an “excuse” (or reason) to suspend him. HOWEVER, that being said, I agree with the early statements saying that if this is why TP is suspended, he should never have been eligible for the supplimental draft. It makes no sense, it’s either one way or the other. Goodell and the NFL played it both ways. Not good.

    Also, and I don’t know if this has been addressed because I haven’t read all the comments…Goodell said previously that the NFL would have suspended Tressel if the Colts hadn’t done so. Obviously Goodell couldn’t use the same methodology to suspend Tressel that he used to suspend Pryor.

    What reason would Goodell have come up with to justify and NFL imposed suspension of Tressel? I will take your comments off the air….

  31. Bravo. Braovo maestro. I would have laughed even more if goodall took seven weeks to decide.

    I think this is an important decision. Pryor would have set the way for any player trashing his college team and career (OSU) to get to the big stage.

    This guy is a loser because he cares about Terrel Pryor and mooooney. He screwed his coach, his team, the school tradition, everything on the advice, and lets be honest, he had an agend and lawyer advising him via his dad and did what they instructed so THEY got paid.

  32. So in essence. GOoDell is imposing a suspension that was handed down by the NCAA. If you wanted to secure rules and the integrity of the Supplemental Draft then why did you let him in it? As soon as he let him in the draft it should have been a done deal, either he’s eligible or he’s not. Yes he’s in or No he’s not. This must be some kind of perverted way for Mr. GOoDell to get some rush from his great and almighty power. Let this be a lesson to you Reggie Bush. If you ever win a Super Bowl, Roger GOoDell will take your ring because you got stripped of your Heisman trophy by the NCAA.

  33. attah baby, Roger! way to stick to your guns and uphold the law. Tarelle Pryor said he would accept the suspension if allowed to enter the supplemental draft. He LIED just so he can turn pro, just like he lied about everything else at Ohio State. Take a seat in the stands Pryor for the next 5 games – wah wah wah ………..

  34. So the new precedent is that you CAN enter the supplemental draft even if you manipulate system, just be ready to not practice for five weeks?

    I don’t get it.

  35. Pryor was eligible for the April 2011 draft since he was 3 years out of high school. That’s why Goodell thought this was fishy.

    Also, the supplemental draft is done so that things like this don’t happen. The supplemental draft, from my understanding, is that something BEYOND HIS CONTROL changes his eligibility. Examples would be flunking out, or a terrible injury.

    I still think Rosenhaus made him go to the supplemental draft for a bigger payday since he’d be the best player eligible. Does anyone think he’d be a 3rd round pick in a April draft?

  36. bobnelsonjr says:
    Sep 30, 2011 7:04 PM
    They should never have allowed the criminal in
    in the first place.

    You mean like the one that illegally bombed Iraq? Which is the real criminal?

    Since your statement is equally ludicrous shouldn’t everything else be relative?

  37. They will keep “manipulating” the system, as long as the athlete is manipulated into getting millions of dollars of revenue for the universities….and the boosters will figure out how to pay top athletes.

    This is essentially a non-story and some subterfuge to allow the league to do “due diligence” on any other player that attempts what Pryor did.

    As long as they do not compensate the athlete at university expect people to keep getting away with this.

    And uh, wheen does Reggie Bush and Pete Carroll’s suspensions begin?

  38. Swallowing the stuff Goodell is spooning out here requires total suspension of disbelief. Insofar as I know, Pryor’s stated reasons for entering the supplemental draft were the CHANGED CIRCUMSTANCES from the end of the previous season. First of all, his career coach, trusted mentor, and unflagging supporter, Jim Tressel was FIRED. The new coach didn’t even want to answer Pryor’s calls. Secondly he expected further repercussions based on his testimony to investigators. That was forthcoming in a BIG WAY. A FIVE YEAR BAN from participating in activities at the Ohio State University.

    How in any one’s estimation could Terrelle have ORCHESTRATED THOSE EVENTS for his own benefit. It defies all logic.

  39. Goodell should have made it clear that the action Pryor took to circumvent the NFL Draft rules was the hiring of an agent. The NCAA violations were not actions taken with the NFL Draft in mind. However, when Pryor hired an agent after the draft he became immediately ineligible for the next NCAA season (for which he had already been suspended for the first five games).

    When Pryor hired the agent it was not necessary for the NCAA to rule specifically on his eligibility because he had proactively taken the only step he needed to take to become ineligible.

    He would most certainly have lost his eligibility, but never let the system play out. That is why this is such a rat f**k.

  40. This is a big bunch of hooey. If Pryor wanted to leave Ohio St. for the NFL he would’ve just done that–he wouldn’t intentionally get himself declared inelligible, that makes no sense. And I think Emperor Goddell getting into bed with the NCAA is the biggest gaff he could ever make. the NCAA isn’t the bastion of integrity and virtue in the sports world–its the exact opposite. Its greedy, self-serving, wildly hypocritical and doesn’t give a hoot about the student athletes who bring all the money in. This is yet another example of Goddell being drunk with power. I hope Pryor or some future NFL player gets the guts to sue the pants off of the almighty Emperor Goddell

  41. Why does Goddell get to make the decision and not a mediator, of course he is going to stick to his decision.

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