All has been quiet on the Ohio State front, which is good news for Buckeye fans. With that said a ghost from 2011 began to speak casting a great shadow over our previous assumptions. Former quarterback Terrelle Pryor who’s career prematurely ended after an NCAA investigation told his side of the story. Sports Illustrated was able to get the current Oakland raider back up to speak on the matter. Here is what Pryor had to say (via SI):
the ground. I was the worst person in the world. My face popped up on the screen, and it seemed like I was the only one who did anything. I was the only one who was getting attacked.
“At that point last year, I’m 21 and it just felt like everything was against me, like I can’t do anything right. I did something to help somebody else out, and I end up getting into trouble. I understand. I shouldn’t have sold the stuff and taken $3,000. But I was kind of in a place where I didn’t understand why this is happening to me — especially for the reason that I did it.”
“She was four months behind in rent, and the (landlord) was so nice because he was an Ohio State fan. He gave her the benefit of the doubt and she said, ‘My son will pay you back sometime if you just let me pay you back during my work sessions.’ She ended up losing her job, and she and my sister lived there.
“Let me remind you it was freezing cold in November, December and she’s using the oven as heat. That’s what I did as a kid. I was telling the NCAA, ‘Please, anything that you can do. I gave my mother this so my sister wouldn’t be cold, so my mother wouldn’t be cold.’ They didn’t have any sympathy for me.”
There will be those who look at this story and still dismiss Pryor. Let’s assume for the sake of argument that Pryor is telling the truth. What type of moral compass is the NCAA using? Anyone from a distance can say that what Pryor did was wrong, but what would you do in his shoes? If I had the ability to make sure a family member receives either food, clothing or shelter, I would do everything in my power to do that. In Pryor’s case, he sold his gold pants, a material possession to secure housing for his mother and sister. He also made sure the heat stayed on.
For all the people who dragged Pryor through the mud, I wonder if this changes their perspective. May you be reminded that this all occurred during the height of the Great Recession, and Pryor is from a region of a state that was hit harder than most. Does this excuse Pryor’s behavior? I say it does and there’s no question that he was a victim. It also shows that the NCAA rules are morally corrupt, and their rigid enforcement leads me to the conclusion that they are a fascist organization.