If you haven’t heard (because you’re not following the @themancave06 on twitter) Terrelle Pryor has finally heard from the NFL. He will be eligible for the supplemental draft on Monday, and can participate in preseason games for whoever chooses him). However, he can’t practice and will be suspended the first 5 games of the regular season. Don’t cry for Pryor; those 5 games matches the 5 games he would have missed with the punishment Ohio State gave him for his tattoo parlor troubles.
I really was upset with the NFL for jerking Pryor around with this supplemental draft. The league postponed the draft a couple of times because it was trying to reach a decision on Pryor. There is a gray area here; according to the rules Pryor technically isn’t eligible for the supplemental draft because he wasn’t kicked out of school; he was just suspended so he can still play his senior year. So literal criminals have been able to hop, skip, and jump into the league, but Pryor was hanging by a string to get eligible for the supplemental draft. Hang on to that point for me.
Now I personally don’t care either way if Pryor should have been in the draft. On one hand the NFL has rules for the draft and Pryor seemed to have been trying to skirt around those rules. On the other hand, Pryor has the right to earn a living and it all signs pointed to him not being able to improve his craft this year in college. My biggest beef is the hypocrisy with the NFL and NCAA.
Let’s start with the NFL. You can easily see that the league was just trying to protect their free minor-league system, the NCAA. They gave him the exact same suspension that the NCAA did. That’s right, the NFL is punishing Pryor for something he did in college. Other guys do wrong; they are welcome in the league with open arms. Pete Carroll is coaching in the league after his issues in college. You can say the NFL is doing Pryor a favor because they are bending their rules for him. Well if the NFL feels so strongly about it, keep him out. The NFL doesn’t need Pryor. There really isn’t a good reason to keep him out, but if the NFL feels it needs to protect their moral high ground then more power to them.
Now we get to the NCAA. The old saying goes, “the higher you climb the tree, the more your ass will show.” Well the NCAA’s ass is all exposed and it’s farting something foul out of it. The NCAA knew about Pryor’s tattoo parlor problems before the Sugar Bowl last year and didn’t suspend him. It allowed The Ohio State University to get away with suspending him 5 games (meaningless ones at that) for his senior season. If you really want to get down to it, it’s all about money and talent. Pryor, in the Sugar Bowl, was about money. This upcoming college football season, umm not so much. He’s not that great of a QB. Scoopbald, an OSU fan, told me that the Buckeyes would not miss Pryor and could even replace him during those 5 games.
You see it’s all about money and talent in terms of crime and punishment. Cam Newton had suspicions around him all year, but he wasn’t under the gun by the NCAA because he balled out. Randy Moss, Lawrence Phillips, and Maurice Clarett waltzed in the league with character issues because they could play. Look at what happened in Miami for 8 years and they weren’t even that good of a team! On the other hand, people thought Pryor should have gone to the CFL! So it was easy to jerk him around. Trust me, if Pryor could throw a perfect deep ball there would be no issue in putting him in the draft. Because Pryor is not that good, it’s easy to make him the sacrificial lamb and the unsympathetic figure in this whole mess.
In the end, the NFL and NCAA look bad on this one. This further exposes that the NFL has a handshake deal with the NCAA to keep the farm system going. The NCAA continues to try to prop up an obscenely corrupt system under the guise of amateurism. And everyone continues to make millions. Walter Byers the first executive director of the NCAA said this of the landscape of college football said this statement 14 years ago. “The coaches own the athletes’ feet, the colleges own the athletes’ bodies, and the supervisors retain the large rewards.” Sounds eerily familiar right? Clearly not much has changed. Now more than ever, the lords of college football and the NFL are in cahoots with each other. And athletes like Pryor are the ones that are hurt by it.