It's creeping up on the one-year anniversary of Jim Tressel resigning from Ohio State and exposé of the circumstances that led to the forced resignation started unraveling.
Players were selling their memorabilia for money and tattoos and at the heart of these NCAA violations quarterback Terrelle Pryor, who left Ohio State on June 7 and entered the NFL's supplementary draft. But his escape to the NFL didn't save him from punishment. NFL commissioner Roger Goddell suspended Pryor for the first five games of the season, which put him at a major disadvantage in competing for playing time with the Oakland Raiders, who drafted him in the third round.
Pryor had spoken out some about his misdeeds at Ohio State, but mostly to apologize. However, in a SI.com article Wednesday, Pryor gave more insight into the reasons why he was selling his Ohio State apparel and were the money went.
"The reason why I did it was to pay my mother's gas bill and some of her rent," Pryor told SI.com. "She was four months behind in rent, and the [landlord] was so nice because he was an Ohio State fan. He gave her the benefit of the doubt and she said, 'My son will pay you back sometime if you just let me pay you back during my work sessions.' She ended up losing her job, and she and my sister lived there. Let me remind you it was freezing cold in November, December, and she's using the oven as heat. That's what I did as a kid. I was telling the NCAA, 'Please, anything that you can do. I gave my mother this so my sister wouldn't be cold, so my mother wouldn't be cold.' They didn't have any sympathy for me. It's not like I went there and bought new Jordans. It's documented. Whenever I write my book the proof will be in there, the receipt that the money I gave my mother was to pay the electric and heat bill."
Pryor said he plans to write a book about his ordeal at Ohio State and when he does the "the truth is going to come out." Pryor said selling his pants for $3,000 when he was a freshman labeled him "the worst person in the world" and that he didn't understand why people were coming down on him so hard.
"My face popped up on the screen, and it seemed like I was the only one who did anything," Pryor told SI.com. "I was the only one who was getting attacked. At that point last year, I'm 21 and it just felt like everything was against me, like I can't do anything right. I did something to help somebody else out, and I end up getting into trouble. I understand. I shouldn't have sold the stuff and taken $3,000. But I was kind of in a place where I didn't understand why this is happening to me -- especially for the reason that I did it."
Well, it would be one thing if Pryor had only been accused of selling one pair of pants as a freshman, but that wasn't the case. A former friend said Pryor made up to $40,000 for autographing various items for Dennis Talbot, a freelance photographer. The NCAA found Pryor had taken cash and tattoos from local tattoo-parlor owner Edward Rife, which got the quarterback suspended the first five games of the 2011 season. The NCAA also was investigating Pryor's use of various used cars.
The actions of Pryor, other Ohio State football players and Tressel earned Ohio State a one-year bowl ban for 2012 and a loss of nine scholarships over the next three years.
So, it's difficult to feel bad for Pryor because of the way he was treated at Ohio State. It seems from the reports, allegations and NCAA investigations, that Pryor brought a lot more than $3,000 worth of shame on his name as a Buckeye. But Pryor tells SI.com, he was victim in all of this.
"I felt like I was doing God's work in a way, and I was getting driven into the ground," he said.
Can't wait to read that book.
- Sports & Recreation
- American Football
- Terrelle Pryor
- Ohio State