Terrelle Pryor Leaves Ohio State, More Allegations Surface
Controversy continues to follow Terrelle Pryor and the Ohio State Buckeyes. Yesterday Pryor announced that he would not play his senior season for the Buckeyes. The scandal surrounding Pryor and several teammates was responsible for Coach Jim Tressel's pressure-fueled resignation, player suspensions and increased scrutiny from the NCAA.
Now, more allegations have surfaced stating Pryor made as much as $40,000 last season through memorabilia signings. A former friend appeared on ESPN's "Outside the Lines" detailing the process that saw Pryor sign items (such as mini-helmets) as many as three or four times a week and receive $500 to $1000 in cash per session. The anonymous former friend of Pryor confirms that the autographs were for Dennis Talbot, a Columbus businessman and freelance photographer.
Talbot was the person who would provide the cash and items to be signed when he visited Pryor's apartment for the weekly signings. The friend went on to say that Pryor also received special treatment around town that included thousands of dollars in free food from convenience stores and restaurants, as well as free drinks at bars and free tattoos. Lastly, the friend mentioned that local car dealers provided Pryor with free loaner cars during his time as a Buckeye.
These serious allegations could have drastic consequences for Ohio State. If Pryor is deemed to have been ineligible based on these allegations, part or all of last season could be nullified including the BCS win against Arkansas. The recent rulings against the USC Trojans show that the NCAA is prepared to take action against players and schools that are not following the rules. The prevalence of media in today's world makes it more likely that these abuses will be discovered and rectified.
Pryor will face a tough road by leaving school at this point in the year. He has missed the 2011 NFL Draft and it is far from a guarantee that he will be included in the NFL Supplemental Draft. If he is unable to enter, Pryor's football opportunities for the upcoming season will be limited to the Canadian Football League or United Football League.
Many experts believe that he does not have the tools to be a quarterback at the professional level but his athletic ability might allow him to play wide receiver or tight end. At any rate, Pryor will suffer the consequences of his actions for years to come and may have destroyed his chance at being an NFL star.