Monday, August 22, 2011

Crossing the Line

Roger Goodell has allowed Terrelle Pryor to enter the NFL Supplemental draft and that is something that took way too long to complete but it came with a caveat.  Pryor had initially been suspended 5 games by the NCAA for violations, but signed a letter/promise to former coach Tressel that he would come back this year to OSU.  Goodell felt that Pryor should sit the first 5 weeks of the NFL season as a result.  Well,...maybe.  The NFL/Goodell made the following statement:

"... Pryor made decisions that undermine the integrity of the eligibility rules for the NFL Draft. 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."  -

While basing his decision on this, it allows Goodell to collude with the NCAA to enforce 'rules'.  I will give it to Goodell, when you're the man, you're the man and you make the rules.  BUT, I will ask the following questions:

1) WHEN Tressel becomes an assistant coach with some NFL team in the next year or two will Goodell suspend him for 5 games or even more?  One could argue that Tressel 'failed to cooperate' with the NCAA and he even voluntarily accepted the same 5 game ban that Pryor was 'forced' to accept.  Did I say forced to accept?  When does a school wrangle to make sure that their best players aren't ineligible for a bowl (that's going to make them lots of money) and then force a kid to sign an agreement to return the next season? 

2) Pete Carroll should be sitting somewhere drinking profusely.  If Goodell is going to institute this punishment, where's Carroll's slice of that pie?  We KNOW he knew about Bush and others that came through USC and instead of facing the music he took a several million dollar parachute to become the Seattle Seahawks coach?  Why isn't he getting suspended?

3) Miami.  If Nevin Shapiro is even half right, are all of these Miami guys going to get suspended? I'm sure a lot of them took these gifts/parties/women/etc. knowing that they were only going to be there for a short period of time.  The fact that they left school after their last game and hired an agent shouldn't allow them to escape the wrath of Goodell. 

This is just another chapter of the hipocracy of those in charge.  Should Pryor fight this?  I would probably say no, because he wants to get in the league and Goodell could argue this issue until the 2012 NFL Draft which would require Pryor to sit for a year.  Is it right?  I would definitely say 'no'.  Goodell overstepped his boundaries and set a bad precedence.  Understand that Pryor's agent, Drew Rosenhaus came up with this deal (and again, this may be the best way for Pryor to get in), but the NFLPA never took a position on this and that's their job to make sure that players aren't cutting deals that undermine the entire union.Nevertheless, Pryor will have his chance to play in the pros, but I guess he never thought it would turn out like this. 

Should Pryor appeal this decision?  Did Goodell cross the line?  Why wasn't the NFLPA a part of this decision?  Should any coach also be held accountable for any issues with the NCAA if and when they forgo college coaching to go pro?

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