Disgraced quarterback Terrelle Pryor may not have done Ohio State very many favors in the end, but the university sure did him a big one Tuesday.
OSU declared that Pryor would have been ineligible for the entire 2011 college football season and that he is now banned from any involvement with the Buckeyes’ athletic department for the next five years after he failed to cooperate with the NCAA investigation.
That was huge because Pryor, who left school in June to pursue an NFL career, may now indeed be eligible for a supplemental draft this summer—if there is one. There is still a lot of uncertainty because the NFL has not announced any plans for a supplemental draft as the league tries to recover from the 4 1/2-month lockout that just ended Monday.
Still, Ohio State’s ruling gives Pryor a better shot at supplemental draft eligibility because he now can show an unforeseen circumstance that pushed him to seek entry into the NFL after the regular April draft. There had been some controversy as to whether or not Pryor needed to leave school in June after more reports surfaced of him receiving impermissible payments and gifts while still a student athlete at Ohio State. He had only been suspended for the first five games of the 2011 season for exchanging memorabilia for tattoos.
Neither the NCAA nor Ohio State, however, had declared Pryor ineligible for the season at that point.
But now Pryor can’t return to school and probably would not have been welcomed back after his actions, in part, forced head coach Jim Tressel to resign and the school forfeited all of its wins from the 2010 season.
Ohio State’s announcement Tuesday, however, may not entirely clear the path to the NFL for the former No. 1 recruit. Technically he could have not have returned to school once he made the decision to hire an agent during the spring so Tuesday’s announcement could be seen as nothing more than ceremonial by the NFL.
Should Pryor not be granted eligibility for the supplemental draft, his options would be to play in another league, like the Canadian Football League, or wait until next April’s NFL Draft.
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