NFL commissioner Roger Goodell may have overstepped his authority and set a troubling precedent last month when he suspended ex-Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor for the first five games of his career primarily for issues that took place while he was still in college.
But ESPN.com says Goodell has decided to stand by his decision in upholding the five-game suspension. Pryor, who was taken in the third round of the last month’s supplemental draft by the Oakland Raiders, would have been suspended for the first five games of the Buckeyes this fall had he remained eligible to stay in school after it was found he was involved in a memorabilia for tattoos scandal last year.
Pryor eventually decided to leave school this summer and enter the NFL after more impermissible acts were being uncovered and his head coach, Jim Tressel, who was forced to resign. There had been some discrepancy as to whether Pryor would even be eligible for the supplemental draft this summer because he left school before he was kicked out.
Ohio State, however, later said Pryor would have been ruled ineligible due to his actions that violated NCAA rules.
"I believe it is a fair conclusion that he intentionally took steps to ensure that he would be declared ineligible for further college play and would be able to enter the NFL via the supplemental draft," Goodell said in a news release. "Taken as a whole, I found that this conduct was tantamount to a deliberate manipulation of our eligibility rules in a way that distorts the underlying principles and calls into question the integrity of those rules."
But now according to ESPN.com, Goodell’s ruling has set the stage for the NFL Players’ Association to file a non-injury grievance on Pryor’s behalf.
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