Thursday, August 18, 2011

Everybody gives in, cops out, whatever

So the NFL copped out Thursday and gave in to Terrelle Pryor and his team of lawyers, ruling him eligible for the supplemental draft on the condition that he be suspended for the first five games of the season.

This makes no sense; as has been reported ad nauseum, he was either eligible for NCAA games and therefore ineligible for the draft or he was ineligible for the season because he committed additional violations that Ohio State hasn't been punished for (yet). He can't just be ineligible for five games but eligible for the draft. And both the NCAA and NFL have said in the past year that they have no desire to implement NFL punishment for NCAA violations.

So this statement ...
"... 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."
... basically means nothing. It should be followed at the end by, "but screw it."

The NFL also gave itself an amusing backdoor out clause by calling the ruling "specific" to the Pryor case. In other words, "We have no basis for this ruling, but it sounds good and makes everybody happy."

Message to guys who commit NCAA violations and want to be draft-eligible immediately: Hire an agent and stonewall the NCAA. Once the school disowns you, the NFL will cave.

As for Pryor ... whatev. There's no realistic chance he goes in the first few rounds, and if he sticks around anywhere, it'll likely be as a developmental QB/WR who'll have minimal impact in the foreseeable future. But he's avoided Maurice Clarett status and will make some money; the fact that this is considered a celebration-worthy victory by his agent and lawyer pretty much tells the story.

On a related note, this comment from attorney David Cornwell is absolutely laughable:
"Personally, I hope this causes everyone to pause and conclude that we must challenge the NCAA on its 'amateurism' rules. Terrelle is going to the NFL because the NCAA mandated that he feed their families, but he could not feed his own."
Pryor was receiving unknown amounts of money from "mentor" Ted Sarniak (this was acknowledged by Ohio State), allegedly got $30,000 to $40,000 for autographs, sold his gold pants to a collector and presumably sold equipment and other apparel that was taken from OSU's inventory. His room and board were paid for via scholarship, he had access to the typical training-table fare and probably countless other free meals courtesy of Dennis Talbott, and he obviously didn't have a car payment since he was given approximately nine "loaner" cars from the super-friendly local dealership.

He's not going to the NFL because he "could not feed his own family" (at least not unless he has a ridiculous budgeting deficiency); he's going to the NFL because he's too entitled to follow the rules and has never been forced to, even now.

But hey, let's not forget: "Not everybody’s the perfect person in the world. I mean everyone kills people, murders people, steals from you, steals from me, whatever."

At least it's been entertaining.


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