Former Alabama receiver Tyrone Prothro spoke during Day 3 of the Ed O'Bannon trial Wednesday afternoon, and a good portion of his testimony was eye-opening.
Prothro has a unique relationship with the concept of amateurism. During the 2005 season, he made this ridiculous catch against Southern Miss that would come to define his career:
That play won the ESPY for "Best Play" at the 2006 ESPY Awards, and Prothro appeared headed for a future in the NFL.
However, he suffered one of the most gruesome injuries in recent memory—click here if you're a sadist—and had to end his playing career after completely fracturing the tibula and fibula in his left leg, according to Ken Bradley of Sporting News.
Prothro's catch, however, did not end its career in 2007. It continued to be played in Pontiac car commercials.
At the trial, Prothro talked about having to see that image of himself go by on a loop, expounding on how much money he knows was made off of it in other ways as well. Per Jon Solomon of CBS Sports:
Prothro: Saw his catch in Pontiac commercials. "A loop of my catch going across the screen with the Pontiac symbol" and nominate new player.— Jon Solomon (@JonSolomonCBS) June 11, 2014
Prothro: The Catch was painted by local artist and won Pontiac Game Changing Play awards that gave Alabama total of $110,000.— Jon Solomon (@JonSolomonCBS) June 11, 2014
However, according to Tom Farrey of ESPN.com, he was later told by Alabama that he had to purchase photos of his own catch to include in the book he was writing:
Prothro later wrote book and was told by Alabama he had to purchase photos of his catch. #NCAAtrial— Tom Farrey (@TomFarrey) June 11, 2014
On other, non-catch-related issues, Prothro was candid about the opulence of Alabama's weight room, per Stewart Mandel of SI.com:
Lawyer to Prothro: How big was the weight room at Alabama? A: Bigger than this courtroom.— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) June 11, 2014
Mandel and Sara Ganim of CNN.com also tweeted some of Prothro's quotes about academics, which he claims were of little importance:
Lawyer: Outside of classes and study hall, how much time did you spend studying? Prothro: "Very little." Says typical of teammates.— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) June 11, 2014
Prothro: "With the amount of time we put in, it felt like we were an athlete first, student second."— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) June 11, 2014
Prothro was a "general studies" major at Alabama. Took health and coaching classes. "That's the major they put me in."— Sara Ganim (@sganim) June 11, 2014
(Although, for all of this, Solomon was wise to point out that Prothro—like O'Bannon—had some inconsistencies between his court deposition and his testimony):
Prothro had some inconsistencies between deposition testimony & court testimony. Same with O'Bannon.— Jon Solomon (@JonSolomonCBS) June 11, 2014
The O'Bannon case is about larger issues than Alabama pushing players toward a certain, easy major. Don't expect the Tide to come under investigation when the NCAA has bigger things to deal with.
If U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken rules in favor of the O'Bannon plaintiffs, current and future college athletes could begin to see compensation for the use of their likeness. In theory this would nullify the notion of "amateurism" that the NCAA has used to prevent its athletes from being paid for quite some time.
Bleacher Report will keep you updated throughout the trial.