Finally! Terrell Pryor is gone from Ohio State and this time for at least 5 years. But on his way out the door, the Buckeye athletic department may have paved the way for Pryor to enter the NFL supplemental draft.
There was a story released earlier in the week the NFL might not hold a supplemental draft because there wasn’t a college player that qualified. The NFL was saying Pryor was only suspended for the first five games of the 2011 season for accepting improper benefits from a Columbus tattoo-parlor owner, meaning he still had college eligibility left and hadn’t graduated.
However Gene Smith, Athletic Director at Ohio State, issued a letter to Pryor’s attorney setting up Pryor to qualify and the NFL to rush into a draft in which Pryor would be the only player involved.
In the letter Smith stated Pryor was ineligible because he failed to cooperate with NCAA and Ohio State investigators. Smith also alerted Pryor Ohio State will dissociate you from its athletic program for a period of five years.
That means Pryor can have no contact with recruits or enrolled Buckeyes, cannot accept complimentary tickets to home games and cannot use the team’s athletic facilities.
This is an honor that not even Maurice Clarette was afforded. Former coach Jim Tressel stood beside Clarette even after he was released from prison. Allowing him to help in practices and take advantage of the facilities on campus. Tressel even helped Clarette find a job playing football after prison.
Pryor’s attorney, Larry James, said he asked Smith for the letter to make it clear Pryor had no chance of playing college football again. But being realistic, Pryor already ended that possibility since he has hired agent Drew Rosenhaus and has been working out in Florida for the past several weeks.
Once a player hires an agent, they are permanently ineligible to play at an NCAA member school.
James said in a statement the letter from Smith was necessary to make it clear to the NFL that Pryor is out of options, other than a supplemental draft. That his collegiate career was definitely over.
”I don’t think anybody on this planet who’s paying attention to this thought Terrelle was attempting to game the system by leaving school early for the NFL.”
Amidst all the “leave school and never come back” talk, Smith did ask Pryor to come back to Ohio State for one reason.
”Please note that this dissociation does NOT prohibit you from enrolling in classes at the university to complete your degree. As you know, I would encourage you to complete your degree.”
For now the door is shut for Pryor. If the NFL decides to open up the supplemental draft and allow Pryor to enter, it is believed he would be, at best, a third round choice. And he might not even play quarterback. He may be moved to Tight end or possibly even a safety position.
Either way, Pryor is history at Ohio State and leaves in Disgrace.