Terrelle Pryor Suspension Sets Dangerous Precedent

This is not a Rams-specific post, but more of the NFL in general.  The Rams would seemingly have no interest in drafting Terrelle Pryor in the NFL Supplemental Draft on Monday as they don’t have need for a developmental quarterback.  They have Sam Bradford as their starter and Thaddeus Lewis is a much better quarterback in the 3rd QB role right now.

In the midst of a tattoos-for-autographs scandal at Ohio State last year, Terrelle Pryor accepted a 5 game suspension this NCAA season at the urging of his now resigned head coach, Jim Tressel.  But, after the season with the scandal widening and his coaching resigning, Pryor declared for the NFL Supplemental Draft.  The Supplemental Draft, which is home to a handful of players every year who have suddenly become ineligible for the upcoming NCAA season for various reasons.  Some have failed out of school, others lost their last year of eligibility but all of the players have issues one way or another.

The only difference that Pryor has is that he has already agreed to serve an NCAA suspension.  Here is the important part: NCAA.  However, the NFL, so fond of its free minor league in the wildly corrupt NCAA football system decided to uphold his NCAA suspension in the NFL.  Pryor was not likely to play in the first 5 games of the NFL season anyway, but the precedent has been sent as Commissioner Roger Goodell has yet again flexed his infinite power.

Everyone on the NFL’s side of the fence seems to think this is a glorious idea.  They are saying Pryor can’t run away from his NCAA troubles to the NFL.  They are claiming that he is punished for “decisions that undermine the integrity of the eligibility rules for the NFL draft.”.  There is only one thing that they are missing.  The NFL and the NCAA are completely different organizations.  He should be able to run away from one company or organization to another.  But, this is not reality; this is the monopoly of the NFL and the monolith of the NCAA.  The NFL can do whatever they like, especially to appease their free minor leagues.  Caleb King, running back out of George became academically ineligible for this season, so he entered the Supplemental Draft.  He is able to escape his NCAA problems into the NFL, but Pryor is not.

This apparently does not apply to coaches, as Mike Silver points out for Yahoo Sports.  Coaches like Pete Carroll are able to escape incoming suspensions and sanctions by the NCAA by quickly moving to the NFL ahead of NCAA’s rulings.

Pryor is suspended 5 games in the NFL for taking money from boosters and various other people around the Ohio State football team.  He was given money and gifts and took them.  That is against the rules of the NCAA, but not against the laws of the United States or the rules of the NFL.  Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers, who was twice accused of rape and sexual assault, was suspended 6 games by Goodell.  The inconsistency here is maddening in many different ways and the precedent is even worse.  There are lots of players in the NFL and still playing college football who have NCAA suspensions and eligibility problems on their record, will Goodell’s hammer fall on them as well?


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