Well, former Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor is going to get his wish as he has been approved by the NFL Commissioner for entry to the NFL Supplemental Draft that is being held Monday. Only one problem however, whatever team he's going to end up with is going to be without him for the first five games as the NFL has suspended him for those weeks in a move that stinks of collusion between the NCAA and the NFL.
Oh, the NFL song and dance is spinning the suspension to be more because Pryor allegedly tried to circumvent league rules concerning the draft by declaring for the NFL the way he did but anyone with half a brain can see that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was just upholding the five game suspension doled out at the end of the 2010 college season to the talented Ohio State quarterback by the NCAA. Even the statement issued by the league pretty much says the same thing as it takes into account everything that happened to the college star leading up to this point.
"… Pryor made decisions that undermine the integrity of the eligibility rules for the NFL draft," the league said. "Those actions included failing to cooperate with the NCAA and hiring an agent in violation of NCAA rules, which resulted in Ohio State declaring him ineligible to continue playing college football.
"Pryor then applied to enter the NFL after the regular draft. Pryor had accepted at the end of the 2010 college football season a suspension for the first five games of the 2011 season for violating NCAA rules. Pryor will be ineligible to practice prior to or play in the first five games of the NFL regular season after he signs."
This ruling is as shocking as it is groundbreaking because Goodell basically just gave himself jurisdiction over college improprieties with it. Formerly, there was an invisible line between the NCAA and the NFL due mainly to college athletes being considered amateurs and the NFL being professional sports, but this ruling sets a dangerous precedence that could have ramifications for years to come.
In the short term, the ruling made Thursday is already causing people to wonder if the Commissioner is going to step in with punishments of his own for the players involved in the Miami scandal still unfolding currently in the NCAA.
"I don't understand," said Buffalo Bills safety George Wilson, an NFLPA representative. "My question is, with this Miami probe, are those players who took those gifts, are those guys — guys that violated NCAA regulations — are they subject to his discipline as well? Is it retroactive? This opens up a big can of worms.
"You can't pick and choose when you want to apply, when you don't want to apply, who you stick it to, who you don't stick it to," Wilson said. "It needs to be clearly defined. I don't agree with it. But we have to see how he chooses to proceed as well as the union. It's just setting a whole totally different precedent. "
With all the recent issues between the NFL and the Players Union concerning the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, the league can ill afford another confrontation with the players and their representatives. The smart thing to do would be to clarify this issue and stress that it is an isolated incident and not an upcoming league mandate.
That's the smart thing. Doesn't mean the league will do it though.
But until they do, however, expect a lot of ripples to be produced by this and a lot of sleepless nights for players who attended Miami in the past decade.
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