Pryor Eligible — But Still Suspended

Nothing is ever easy with Terrelle Pryor.  Thursday the saga of the NFL Supplemental draft was finally ended as Commissioner Roger Goodell declared Pryor eligible.  With a few conditions.

Goodell announced the draft has been rescheduled for August 22, and that Pryor will be eligible.  However Pryor will be ineligible to practice prior to or play in the first five games of the NFL regular season after he signs with whatever team drafts him.

WHAT?  Why is this the case?  And it appears the NFL Players Association has signed off on it.  Still it sets up a dangerous precedent for the Commissioner and the league.  Games missed might be explained, but why no practice?  This makes no sense.

Pryor is bringing in a lot of baggage to the NFL.  However first Pryor must show a team why they should draft him.   His talent is questioned, along with his character.  Additionally many believe he circumvented the rules just to gain entrance into the league.

Many are saying with the supplemental draft now quickly approaching, Pryor will probably set up another pro day to hopefully impress a team or two.  The first pro day was cancelled.  The second strike is the games and practices missed.

Goodell made the decision and alerted all 32 NFL teams immediately.  It’s still not clear how Goodell felt he had the ability to suspend Pryor for five games.  However Goodell said he decision was based on Pryor’s actions and “decisions that undermine the integrity of the eligibility rules for the NFL Draft.”

Those actions included failing to cooperate with the NCAA and hiring an agent in violation of NCAA rules. This resulted in Ohio State declaring him ineligible in a letter to the NFL to continue playing college football. Pryor then applied to enter the NFL after the regular draft.

Pryor had accepted a suspension from Ohio State at the end of the 2010 college football season for the first five games of the 2011 season for violating NCAA rules.  This suspension was negotiated so that Pryor could be cleared by the NCAA to play in the Sugar Bowl.  After Buckeyes coach Jim Tressel resigned, Pryor bolted the school.

Goodell didn’t want to rock the boat with the Players Association.  Especially after the league and the Union are working well together now.  Goodell checked with the NFLPA before he made the decision and got the Union on board.  The NFLPA appears to be on board with the penalty.

However this decision seems to be precedent setting.  And how do you explain Pryor should be suspended and not a Reggie Bush or Vince Wolfolk?  And with the story of the week in Miami, what happens with those players coming into the league?  Plus the current players like Devin Hester who have been accused of violations while a Hurricane.  It seems Goodell has set himself up with several problems down the road.

No matter what, both sides got their way.  Pryor will be allowed to enter the NFL.  However he will be suspended in the same manner as he would have been at Ohio State.  Also the NFL really did not want Pryor in the supplemental draft.  This suspension basically means Pryor will get the year off because he won’t be able to participate for most of the year.

It’s a Win-Win, in typical Pryor Style.

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