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April 13, 2011

College Football Report - Hard to Trust Terrelle Pryor’s Response to Supplemental Draft Rumors:


I wish I could believe Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor when he says he’s going to pass up on the Supplemental NFL Draft. I can’t, though. Not yet.

It’s not because I’m from Michigan where everyone is born with a dislike of anything scarlet and silver. It’s not because the Supplemental Draft would be a terrible move for Pryor. It’s not even because Pryor has misled fans and lied to the NCAA before.

It’s because it’s impossible to know what to believe in college football anymore.

On Monday, April 11, the National Football Post reported that Pryor’s odds of staying for his senior season in 2011 vs. entering the Supplemental draft are 60-40, according to an unnamed source.

The Supplemental Draft allows players who missed the deadline for the regular draft to declare for the NFL. If a team drafts a player in the Supplemental Draft, they must give up an equivalent draft pick the following year.

Pryor entering the 2011 Supplemental Draft to some seems like a good idea. To me, and most scouts, picking Pryor is about as wise an investment as hiring Charlie Sheen to give pregame speeches.

“He needs to grow up, work on his consistency and grow into the leader that I think he can be,” Dave Razzano, an NFL scout for 22 years told the New York Times. “I wouldn’t touch him with a 10-foot pole.”

Razzono’s comments come with good reason on, and off, the field.

In December 2010, amongst the allegations that Ohio State football players were receiving off field benefits such as tattoos, in exchange for autographs and game merchandise, Pryor Tweeted: “I paid for my tattoos. Go Bucks.”

That was on Dec. 22. On Dec. 23, Pryor and four other Buckeye football players were suspended for the first five games of the 2011 season for giving away merchandise and autographs in exchange for extra benefits, such as tattoos. An NCAA violation.

Apparently, where Pryor comes from, currency comes in the form of Big Ten Championship rings, sportsmanship awards and gold football pants. Perhaps that’s all Pryor was referring to when he said he “paid” for his tattoos.

So what do you think Pryor did when the recent rumors came out about him considering the Supplemental NFL Draft?

Well, he turned to Twitter of course, tweeting: “I’ll be suited up in Lincoln Nebraska!! And first player to meet with the Wolverines for the fourth time!!”

What he was referring to was his and the other OSU four’s first game back from the suspension: A trip to Lincoln to take on the `Huskers. The Michigan reference refers to being the first Ohio State quarterback to beat Michigan four times.

If Pryor’s recent Twitter past has taught us anything, we may find out very soon that the Ohio State senior is entering the Supplemental NFL Draft. It’s déjà vu and he’s got nobody but himself to blame.

Pryor isn’t the only one making it hard to believe anyone in college football, though. His own head coach, Jim Tressel, will sit the first five games with his players for lying to the NCAA committee about whether he knew his players were receiving benefits.

The Cam Newton saga and pay-for-play scandal at Auburn this year took center stage in college football. New updates and sources were revealed daily, making it impossible to know what to believe. The incident is still being investigated by the NCAA.

Four former Auburn football players recently told HBO they were paid in their recruitment to the university, and while they were playing at Auburn. Then, the next day, players who played with the four whistle blowers shot down any paying rumors whatsoever.

Just a year ago it seemed as if no coach could ever upstage Lane Kiffin’s midnight exit from Tennessee. That is until UConn head coach Randy Edsall left for Maryland following his team’s loss to Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl this year. Edsall informed his players, staff and school officials at 2 a.m. via speakerphone that he wouldn’t be boarding the plane back to Connecticut or returning as head coach. That’s right, over speakerphone.

Speaking of the Fiesta Bowl, president and chief executive of the game, John Junker (left, AP Photo), was fired on March 29, after it became aware Junker was receiving an unauthorized and excessive compensation and inappropriate expenditures and gifts. In laymen’s terms, the guy was living like a rock star and getting improperly paid to run just one game a year.

Trust just isn’t a part of the fabric of college football anymore. I don’t trust a commitment from a recruit until he signs a letter of intent. I don’t trust players who say they don’t get paid and I don’t trust players who say they do get paid. I especially don’t trust the BCS system. This, I know, is a big shocker.

I certainly won’t trust Pryor when he says he’ll be there to play Nebraska next season. I’ll believe it when I see it. Because game day is about the only time I can invest some trust into college football anymore.

I know one thing is certain. I’ll be looking for a couple of things following the NFL Draft: When Pryor makes his announcement and what team feels bold enough to make a move on him.

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