Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

23 Dec 2010

Pryor Suspended To Start Next Season

Last week's news that several Buckeyes were being investigated by the NCAA for exchanging autographs for free tattoos was laughable.

But now the Buckeyes have been hit with much more serious charges.

Five players -- Terrelle Pryor, Mike Adams, DeVier Posey, Daniel Herron, and Solomon Thomas -- will be suspended for the first five games of 2011 for selling awards, gifts, and university apparel.

For his part, Pryor will have to repay $2,500 for selling his 2008 Big Ten championship ring, a 2009 Fiesta Bowl sportsmanship award and his 2008 Gold Pants, a gift from the university.

Pryor Adams, Herron, and Posey are eligible for the NFL Draft and could opt to skip their senior seasons -- and their suspensions.

Posted by: David Gardner on 23 Dec 2010

35 comments, Last at 26 Dec 2010, 11:28pm by Pat (filler)


by Dennis :: Thu, 12/23/2010 - 7:22pm

Another laughable decision by the NCAA. These transgressions are serious enough to suspend the players for five games, but not serious enough for them to miss their bowl game. What a joke.

by KG (not verified) :: Thu, 12/23/2010 - 7:25pm

Yep. Why actually hurt the university in a prime-time showcase game, when you can sweep the suspension under the rug? Oh man, Pryor and Co. are gonna miss the first five games next season? How will OSU manage to beat Toledo, Bowling Green and the South Harmon Institute for Technology?

by IB (not verified) :: Thu, 12/23/2010 - 7:52pm

Your sneer forgot to include difficult games at Miami and against Michigan State.

by parttimemovieguy :: Thu, 12/23/2010 - 7:53pm

Pardon my ignorance of college football, but Wikileaks Task Force are Gold Pants?

by BL (not verified) :: Thu, 12/23/2010 - 9:42pm

They're little golden charms depicting a pair of Michigan's golden pants that are given to OSU players after every win over the Wolverines.

by Spielman :: Fri, 12/24/2010 - 10:49am

So, not much rarity value these days, eh?

by RickD :: Sat, 12/25/2010 - 2:43pm


by rd (not verified) :: Thu, 12/23/2010 - 10:05pm

Damn and I thought I was smart for betting on Arkansas last night before they closed betting (5 minutes after I bet!).

by FireOmarTomlin :: Thu, 12/23/2010 - 10:13pm

I give up. What a load of crap. This, the $cam fiasco, etc.

Fark the NCAA.

Men are more ready to repay an injury than a benefit because gratitude is a burden and revenge a pleasure.

by TheRealJOsh (not verified) :: Fri, 12/24/2010 - 2:45am

OSU players should stand-up and boycott the bowl. Force the NCAA to change its rule, rescind its suspensions, and stop these fake policies. They won't, they don't have integrity. How many people were killed or arrested in the 50s, 60s, and 70s so that people could have rights? Not enough for people to remember, apparently.

by ChrisH :: Fri, 12/24/2010 - 11:26am

Yes, between the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the March on Washington, how could we possibly forget the great South Bend protest rally to protect the rights of football players to sell their memorabilia.

Please, even if you hate the NCAA and think their policy here is stupid, let's keep this reasonable, since no one died or protested for the right for Pryor and his friends to exchange autographs for discounted tattoos. For the right to play football, perhaps, but you're taking this WAY too far.

by Elroy44 (not verified) :: Fri, 12/24/2010 - 2:56am

if this had been usc who knows how far the ncaa would have gone;Tyn topubl they might have even disbanded the trojan program for this!

by The Ninjalectual :: Fri, 12/24/2010 - 11:31am

On NPR they reported that the tattoo suspension was due to receiving "discounted" tattoos because they were players--no autographs were mentioned. I was wondering if the players even knew they were getting discounts, and whether they had to argue with every waiter and barrista they encounter every day: "no, you don't understand, YOU CANNOT GIVE ME A FREE CUP OF COFFEE, I HAVE TO PAY FULL PRICE!"

by The Ninjalectual :: Fri, 12/24/2010 - 11:34am

Meanwhile, Notre Dame gets to play with no sanctions whatsoever, and there SOMEBODY EFFING DIED DUE TO GROSS NEGLIGENCE! According to the NCAA, discounted tattoos are horrible, horrible things, but student deaths are a natural cost of doing business.

by JonFrum :: Fri, 12/24/2010 - 3:06pm

Someone's been hitting the Christmas Sauce early this year.

by RickD :: Sat, 12/25/2010 - 2:50pm

He has a point.

The priorities of the NCAA are always to protect the people in positions of power.

Which, come to think of it, is the normal state of affairs. At least these days.

by Bright Blue Shorts :: Fri, 12/24/2010 - 1:17pm

Four of the five guys have a choice between declaring eligible for the NFL draft, or getting to spend about half a semester away from football and therefore being able to work hard in the classroom to get their degrees ... I wonder which they'll pick ...

by Southern Philly :: Fri, 12/24/2010 - 2:50pm

There's a decent chance they'd actually play more football if they stayed at OSU.

by Bright Blue Shorts :: Fri, 12/24/2010 - 3:19pm

I don't watch college football so I'll take your word on that.

But either way what do you think they believe about their ability, and what do you think agents are telling them about their chances in the NFL draft?

by Southern Philly :: Sat, 12/25/2010 - 11:40am

My comment was about how there could be a lockout next season and thus no NFL games for anyone to play.

by jebmak :: Fri, 12/24/2010 - 2:48pm

C'mon! I'm the first to mention that he got in trouble partially for selling a SPORTSMANSHIP award?

That is hilarious.

by Bobman :: Sat, 12/25/2010 - 3:47am

I, too, thought that was rich. In related news, the OSU Marxist Club awarded him an anti-capitalism award which he promptly sold on eBay.

yes, I am kidding.

Seriously, though, who would BUY his sportsmanship award? You gotta be pretty hard-up for mantelpiece hardware to buy somebody else's sportsmanship award, no? Maybe Dan Marino.....

by JonFrum :: Fri, 12/24/2010 - 3:08pm

This is college football, folks. Money ALWAYS talks.

by rudolf lightcap (not verified) :: Fri, 12/24/2010 - 10:05pm

Unless he has been accepting other "improper" benefits, I think it is unlikely that a poor kid like Pryor will have $2,500 lying around to give to the NCAA. I would LOVE to see one or more of them file for personal bankruptcy due to hardships caused by the NCAA. Who would defend the NCAA then?

The NCAA is a joke. Why exactly do we even have this fetish over "amateurs"? Back when the only kids who went to college were the sons of scions and tycoons, it probably made sense to keep students away from money so they could get a classical education before taking over the family business, but the current exploitation of students by universities for profit is unconscionable. If Pryor is old enough to die for his country, go to jail as an adult, and drink a beer, there's no reason why he shouldn't be capable of receiving compensation commensurate with his profitabiliy as an athlete for playing a dangerous game.

by Bobman :: Sat, 12/25/2010 - 3:48am

I like the BK lawsuit angle. It would be fun to watch the fallout from that.

by Q (not verified) :: Sat, 12/25/2010 - 2:40am

They receive significant compensation, scholarships worth roughly $100k-200k, free travel, tutors, and the chance to audition/interview for the NFL.

by RickD :: Sat, 12/25/2010 - 2:49pm

That makes it OK that the universities make hundreds of millions of dollars from them without fair compensation.

The "chance to audition/interview for the NFL" is not a benefit that the NCAA can grant. Nor is it beneficial for 99% of the college athletes that do not go pro.

If we removed the fake "amateur" constraints of the NCAA, we would be able to see just how much the labor really would be valued by a free market. But if that were to happen, the NCAA would lose a good portion of their revenue.

Unpaid labor is great!

by Homer (not verified) :: Sat, 12/25/2010 - 11:27pm

I'm curious where the money is supposed to come from. The revenue generated by OSU football goes to fund every other sport. So will the money come from tuition hikes or canceling other sports.

Also remember Title IX requires parity in spending on men's and women's sports. So if you pay Pryor $100,000, you need to find an identical sum from somewhere to give to women's sports.

by John Doe (not verified) :: Sun, 12/26/2010 - 1:52am

Why would they need to pay him anything? I'm sure various shoe and clothing companies would be more than happy to pay him. Female athletes are screwed over by the same rules that prevent male athletes from cashing in on their talents. It's not about the school paying players, it's about allowing players to cash in on their name and likeness.

by rudolf lightcap (not verified) :: Sun, 12/26/2010 - 3:25am

I'm not predicting a cash bonanza for players other than the Eric Dickersons and Cam Newtons out there. Most everyone will probably continue to only get their current benefits but won't have the hassle of complying with an opaque shifting bureaucracy like the NCAA.

As for where the money would come from, I think universities would take it out of the coaching budget and the money that the boosters already spend. Are college coaches like Mack Brown, Nick Saban, John Calipari, Roy Williams, and especially Ron Zook really worth the millions they get each year for coaching? I think their real value lies in knowing how to run dirty programs that "comply" with the NCAA's ridiculous rules while still compensating star players directly, or indirectly through boosters. It's just a guess here, but I think you'd see coaching salaries drop a bit and boosters will simply donate to the athletic department rather than figuring out roundabout ways to funnel compensation to players. As a side benefit, you might also see better quality sports too, since coaches will be hired more based on coaching ability than on being pseudo-crinimal geniuses able to negotiate the NCAA labyrinth.

Finally, attempting to outlaw the market forces that will always find ways to compensate stars only serves to send the market underground. This is very well documented. Would you rather have Ohio State pay Maurice Clarett or a mobster like Hai Waknine? See link below:


This is what the current situation encourages in my opinion. Clearly, Clarett made a bad choice here but young men and women make bad choices from time to time. The system should have helped him rather than leaving him left with under-the-table payments from a criminal mobster as his only recourse for compensation while playing college football.

I joked that I would love to see Pryor file for bankruptcy due to the NCAA's ruling, but what I would hate to see is a college player extorted or killed by the shady characters who hang around the college game now. Is that what it will take for us to demand a new system? We're just talking about college sports here. How important is being an "amateur" in the modern age to you?

by Pat (filler) (not verified) :: Sun, 12/26/2010 - 1:36pm

Finally, attempting to outlaw the market forces that will always find ways to compensate stars only serves to send the market underground. This is very well documented.

This completely flies in the face of the fact that the vast majority of schools do not have these problems. They're confined to relatively few high profile schools, and there are several high profile schools that have never had a hint of controversy like this.

by rudolf lightcap (not verified) :: Sun, 12/26/2010 - 10:30pm

I think calling it a "fact" that the vast majority of schools are completely okay is a bit forced. We know from the Sports Illustrated expose by an ex-agent this year that many players received under-the-table compensation from agents and other hangers-on in the college recruiting world. We know that allegedly the entire Southwest Conference which makes up most of the Big 12 South plus TCU, SMU and Arkansas were willing to pay Eric Dickerson in the 1980's (see the 30 for 30 about SMU). Finally, some journalists have said that the Cam Newton situation is just more of the usual.


We'll have to disagree. I think it's a problem and the NCAA and its boosters are being willfully ignorant.

by Pat (filler) (not verified) :: Sun, 12/26/2010 - 11:28pm

The vast majority of schools don't have players like that. There are 120 schools in Division IA/FBS, not just the 30-40 that routinely make it in the top 25. I guarantee you that boosters for lower-level WAC schools are not paying players. The teams are struggling financially enough that they'd give the money to the schools.

I think it's a problem and the NCAA and its boosters are being willfully ignorant.

I think you're missing the much bigger problem, along with most college football fans. The FBS is too big. That's what has to be fixed first. It's what makes the championship debate exist, it's what makes the scheduling problems exist, and it's what makes the financial problems exist.

It may even be what makes this problem exist, too, because schools with athletic departments that bring in $100M+ are playing with the same rules as departments with a tenth the size.

by tuluse :: Sun, 12/26/2010 - 4:21am

Title IX requires parity in spending on men's and women's sports

How does that work with the huge salaries for men's football and basketball coaches?

I'm guessing it's an equal amount of public funding for each one, not private funding, which is way a large amount of the money comes from.

by Pat (filler) (not verified) :: Sun, 12/26/2010 - 1:30pm

Unpaid labor is great!

OSU athletes living off-campus receive over $1300/month as a stipend, plus their scholarship. I promise you, it does not cost $1300/month to live in Columbus. More like less than half of that. Students in work-study programs can't even make that much.

But if that were to happen, the NCAA would lose a good portion of their revenue.

Yes, because, of course, the NCAA is a giant corporation with one massively rich guy receiving all of their profits. Oh, wait, they're not. They're an association of universities and don't actually make money.

Well, maybe the universities, then, would lose a good portion of their revenues, right? Oh wait, the athletic departments at universities are isolated (i.e. money, at most, flows in, not out), and for the universities that do make significant money on athletics, the primary cost at all of them is facilities.

So what would happen if the NCAA would 'lose' those revenues? The facilities that the players enjoy - the stadium, the excercise rooms, the practice fields - would be the first thing to go.