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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Is the Ohio State Scandal Really Terrelle Pryor’s Entire Fault?

The Ohio State University is up to its teeth in scandal, as news of the ill fated football program has rocked one of the nation’s most prestigious college’s in the country. The coach Jim Tressel has been fired and starting QB Terrelle Pryor now has former attached to his title as he has announced that he will be leaving the program as well. Now the scandal itself has been well documented by numerous outlets you would have to be basically dead not to know what been going on in Columbus. Just in case you don’t know Pryor, along with several other OSU players have been trading memorabilia for tattoos, cash and everything else. This story was first uncovered by Yahoo and then blew completely open by Sports Illustrated. Pryor was the most celebrated Pryor since a funny guy name Richard but has now been disgraced as he has quit the team in hopes to somehow get in the NFL supplemental draft or play in Canada until next year.

Pryor was seen as the most audacious of all the players who got caught, so of course he becomes the whipping boy in all of this. But I pose the question to whoever is reading this, is Pryor the man that should be blamed for all of this? Granted he seemed to have taken the most and flaunted it more than any of the other players but just think about if you were in his position. He was the starting QB for the powerhouse Buckeyes. When Pryor looked in the stands of the Horseshoe, all he could see was his number two jerseys on fans backs. He receives no compensation for any of those jersey sells. He looks on the internet and notices that Ohio State’s football program made an estimated $63.8 million dollars last year and again he didn’t receive a nickel of that.

I know the cynics reading this are screaming at the top of their lungs that he received a scholarship with room and board and blah blah blah but that’s nothing compared to what his likeness is making for his school. It’s not even close. The modern day five-star recruited athlete sees a scholarship as nothing more than a given commodity. Not to devalue a free ride but top notch athletes field hundreds of offers from every school looking for the next great player. The school that is lucky enough to land a top recruit will make oodles of cash off his back so its no wonder recruiting is such a corrupt operation to begin with.

The culture of money and athletics go hand and hand. From the highest level athletic director to the lowest level street agent thug knows this. I’ve read over countless stories of older coaches giving players special “handshakes” and mowing lawns for exceptional amounts of money. Another aspect that goes unnoticed is the hip hop influence that infiltrates most every young athlete in America. It teaches that receiving money should be over anything and everybody. Pick a song from rap icons and you are sure to hear about money such as Lil Wayne’s “Got Money”, Kanye West “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” or 50 cents “I Get Money”. The major artists of hip-hop all showcase their jewelry and expensive cars because its just part of the culture. Does this sound like anybody we know here? The perception of hip-hip is to show off and show out whenever you get a chance and Pryor definitely seemed to live up that aspect of the music.

We can’t forget Jim Tressel as well in this situation as he cultivated this kind of pay for play atmosphere. As indicated in the Sports Illustrated story, this is not Tressel’s first rodeo. He was investigated at Youngstown State after another alleged scandal involving his star QB at the time by the name of Ray Isaac. Tressel projects himself as a high value devoted Christian man but if you read a few stories about him you will come to the conclusion that he most definitely has an alter ego. To win in big time college athletics it takes a certain type of demeanor. You rarely see choir boys leading teams out the tunnel, its usually fiery guys with intense personalities a la Urban Meyer. Tressel’s outside demeanor may not have fit that scene but he has a deep down fortitude of competition in him. It’s that very reason that Tressel may have let the type things that went on at OSU to continue. There is no way he couldn’t have known 28 or more players as named by Sports Illustrated were receiving benefits especially the tattoos. He saw his player everyday you mean to tell me he didn’t notice all of great new body art they were flashing? Give me a break.

Furthermore, if you take a look at college athletics around the nation, you would think you were reading a national enquirer. Scandals have broken out like chicken pox in a kindergarten class. Tennessee, North Carolina, USC, Uconn, Auburn, and even Boise State have all received that dreaded letter from the NCAA. No one wants to say it but college athletics are totally screwed up at this point. The little things you could get away with yesteryear will be on someone’s twitter, facebook, skype, or some forum on the internet nowadays. Hell look at what has just happened to Texas as former star QB Colt McCoy’s girlfriend decided to do a little radio interview and she eluded to some things that I’m pretty sure Mack Brown and co would have liked to keep quiet. The NCAA has stated that they would like to get tougher in light of all allegations that are coming at them left at right but from what I understand they are terribly understaffed. Its like fighting a fight with one hand tied behind your back.

In conclusion, like I stated earlier in the article it was 28 players in all indicated in the report. Terelle Pryor is only one man, by reading a few articles on the internet you would think he accounted for every one of the 28 in question. I’m not an apologist on Pryor behalf I’ve just read so many negative columns about him and it somewhat angered me, on how quickly those praising you can stick a dagger in you all in the same breath. Pryor was absolutely wrong in which the manner he conducted himself. He took outlandish gifts, he drove cars that weren’t his, and he put OSU on a downward spiral that has no ending in site. He has to take most of the blame because he was the highest profiled of all the players indicated in the report. Sorry to say it, but that just how it goes when you’re the best player. But don’t give me that it’s HIS ENTIRE fault. He is a teenager in the precarious position of being the most popular athlete in town. He wasn’t doing all these things by himself. He had manipulative grown men doing these things for him. So again I ask the question was it really all Terrelle Pryor’s fault? I think not


  1. Real good work man! I will be coming back daily. Check out my blog too at

    Keep up the good work

  2. Nice job. Definitley not all his fault - top to bottom NCAA, Tressel, AD, boosters all had to know and preferred not to. It is because he is the highest profile guy in all the scandals you pointed out.
    I keep waiting to see your post that says you have been named the new Athletic Director at Tennessee. Will keep waiting

  3. Lol Mike I'm patiently waiting for that call as well and when it comes I won't except the position if you don't come aboard with me. UT has been a mess over the past two years it makes me wonder how Hamilton was able to keep his job this long. And thanks for stopping in Kalen as soon as I get the chance I will check out your blog and follow.