Ohio State’s Terrelle Pryor has decided to “go pro” a little late. For those of you not familiar with the story, Pryor is one of the players alleged to have accepted illegal gifts in the form of tattoos. The snowballing from that story ended up with the resignation of Ohio State’s coach. He thinks he has the stuff to go all the way to the NFL. It’s actually a questionable proposition because, while he was on a successful team, he was not the focal point of that success the same way that Troy Smith was. But he is sufficiently confident that he is not interested in the Canadian Football League:

The Saskatchewan Roughriders own the CFL negotiating rights to Pryor and had extended him a tentative offer.

“They sent the package last night, I forwarded it to Terrelle and Terrelle said that he wasn’t interested today,” James said.

Asked if Pryor gave him a reason for his lack of interest in the Roughriders, James said: “He did not go into discussion. He just said he’s not interested in the Canadian Football League. Obviously the offer was not sufficient to whet his taste buds.”

And yet, the article goes on to say:

If Pryor’s application for the supplemental draft isn’t accepted, the United Football League might provide him with a temporary home.

A well-placed UFL source told Schefter Wednesday that Pryor would benefit from the coaching in the league, which includes high-profile former NFL coaches Marty Schottenheimer, Dennis Green, Jim Fassel and Jerry Glanville. The source said he believes there’s “a decent shot” Pryor could wind up playing this year in the UFL.

Any player who signs with the UFL must remain in the league for the entire season before signing with an NFL team. The UFL will announce its schedule Thursday.

Michael Huyghue, the UFL’s commissioner, told the Las Vegas Review Journal Wednesday that his league would have a spot available for Pryor.

If he’s not interested in the CFL, there’s little reason to believe he would be interested in the UFL. And even the “well-placed UFL source” doesn’t say otherwise. He just says it would be good for the kid. It might be, though I think his main interest is that it would be good for the UFL. Heck, getting mentioned in an ESPN article with an article that doesn’t mention the word “crisis mode” is good for the UFL.

Speaking of the UFL and Ohio State, Maurice Clarett has chimed in:

Clarett, ruled ineligible after carrying Ohio State to its first national championship in 34 years in 2002, said the university cannot control everything that players do.

“There wasn’t any coach or any booster or any member in or around Ohio State who helps you get a car,” Clarett said, recalling his own time on campus. “It doesn’t go on. It’s just guys doing what they want to. People will forever do what they want to. It’s nothing more than young guys making mistakes.” {…}

“People didn’t reach out to me. I reached out to people,” he said. “Just when you’re traveling around the community, I reached out to people: ‘Hey, I’m struggling with this. Hey, I need help with this.’ “

Clarett’s name may be familiar to even casual sports fans. He is the anti-Pryor, having declared for the draft too early (before he was eligible). He went on to sue the NFL for the right to play for it. Then he robbed a bank and went to jail. As tempting as it is to dismiss Clarett (and given his views on paying student-athletes, I itch for a reason), by all accounts he has really cleaned himself up since getting out of jail. When he got his second chance with the UFL, he was genuinely grateful for the chance to be there. No doubt he would go to the NFL if he could, but he was jazzed up for the chance to play for a team in Omaha. Anyhow, he also had this to say:

Going to prison had altered his view of the world, Clarett said. Five years ago, he said he might have celebrated that Ohio State and Tressel were going through the NCAA problems they are now. But that isn’t the way he feels.

Clarett also said he did not consider Tressel, who until a few months ago had a squeaky clean image around the country, to be a cheater or a fraud.

“You can’t be a fraud for 30 years. It’s impossible,” he said. “People can smell a fraud in the first month, two, three, four, five months. They’re going to be exposed. To do what that man has done … it’s wrong for that man to get dealt like that.”

Asked where his national championship ring is, Clarett said: “That’s at my mother’s house. There’s not one piece of memorabilia that I don’t have.”


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5 Responses to Terrelle Pryor & Maurice Clarett

  1. Mike Hunt says:

    I have no problem with whatever goodies a college athlete can get under the table. Hell, the only reason that it can’t happen over the table is because then you would have to pay the field hockey players too. By having it under the table, the market can dictate what each player is worth.

  2. trumwill says:

    You would only have to pay the women’s field hockey team. Not the men’s.

    My main thought is, if we want a market-based football league… we have four.

  3. Mike Hunt says:

    Well there is no men’s field hockey (in the US, anyway). The point is that if everything was above-board, you would have to pay the less popular sports the same as the only two that count.

    To me there is nothing wrong with a player taking advantage of his fame to make some extra money on the side. If some car dealer wants to hook him up, why is it any of my business? That is like getting mad that some girls are more attracted to athletes. It’s not fair, but that is the way it is.

  4. trumwill says:

    Huh. You’re right. No male field hockey.

    The point is that if everything was above-board, you would have to pay the less popular sports the same as the only two that count.

    No, you wouldn’t. You would just have to make sure that there is a gender balance. Not all sports are accorded equal scholarships.

    To me there is nothing wrong with a player taking advantage of his fame to make some extra money on the side. If some car dealer wants to hook him up, why is it any of my business?

    I agree with you about not blaming the kid, so long as the professional leagues have that age limit and no developmental leagues. And I’m not unsympathetic to the notion that the scholarship should include rather basic living expenses. That being said, the rules are the rules. The big schools already have enough of an advantage, without being able to back-end a whole bunch of money to the kids that choose that particular program.

  5. Mike Hunt says:

    You would just have to make sure that there is a gender balance.

    This is a case where the law doesn’t reflect reality. I would say that the entire country cares about men’s college basketball. Most of the country cares about about college football, with the areas who don’t following men’s college lacrosse.

    The only women’s sport people care about is basketball, and that is in THREE states: Tennessee, Connecticut, and Louisiana. The only reason I like to watch women’s college basketball is to see what the arenas look like empty…

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