Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor asked for forgiveness and apologized Tuesday for his involvement in the NCAA violations, costing him and four other teammates the first five games of next season.
Together, the five Buckeyes sold thousands of dollars worth of memorabilia and university apparel, while receiving discounts at a local tattoo parlor.
In addition to sitting out the first five games of the 2011 season, as part of their punishment, they must repay the money they received from selling the items, totaling over $7,000.
All five must repay at least $1,000, but Pryor owes the most money, $2,500, and may be the worst offender of the bunch.
The OSU quarterback sold his 2008 Big Ten Championship ring, 2008 Gold Pants charm and his Sportsmanship Award from the 2009 Fiesta Bowl.
By the way, does anyone else see irony in Pryor selling a “sportsmanship” award?
Anyways, it’s not a surprise that the Buckeyes star quarterback said he was sorry for his actions and asked “Buckeye Nation”—a term used nine times between the five players—for forgiveness.
All athletes do when they go from being loved to loathed, and Pryor is entitled to ask for it.
However, that doesn’t mean everyone is going to accept it, nor should they.
For starters, does he realize what he actually sold? It was more than just some "bling" and silly sportsmanship award.
He sold a championship ring that represents something the OSU football team prides itself on winning year in and year out—the Big Ten conference.
Coach Jim Tressel annually preaches that winning the Big Ten is the team’s first goal and everything else will fall into place.
Pryor sold a gift given to each OSU football player and coach for beating its bitter rival and team up north, Michigan.
Each player and coach receives the miniature pair of gold pants for each victory over the Wolverines in honor of former OSU coach Francis Schmidt’s famous quote.
“They put their pants on one leg at a time, the same as we do,” Schmidt said of Michigan in 1934.
Cherished by former and current Buckeyes (not named Pryor and Solomon Thomas, who sold his 2008 Gold Pants as well), the Gold Pants are a symbol of the tradition-rich rivalry that is Ohio State vs. Michigan.
For Pryor to willingly sell something so meaningful to the history of the program is sickening.
The selling of those two items alone give many fans all the reason they need to deny Pryor forgiveness, but factor in how arrogant he’s been over the past three years, and it’s hard to imagine why they should forgive the Buckeyes star quarterback.
Since even before Pryor arrived on campus in 2008, he has had an arrogant aura about him. He didn’t even announce what school he was signing with on National Signing Day like the rest of the 2008 class.
He delayed his announcement for six weeks because he said he did not devote adequate time to the recruiting process, using basketball as an excuse.
He’s not the first high-school recruit to play multiple sports. Why couldn’t he announce his decision with the rest of his class?
Because he is arrogant.
From throwing his hands up in the air and pointing down field, as if blaming one of his receivers for an inexcusable interception he threw, to making excuses for why he didn’t have the kind of season he was expected to have, being a Heisman-frontrunner at the start of the season, his actions and words are filled with arrogance.
“You put me in any of their offenses—any of them—and I’d dominate,” Pryor said referring to Michigan’s Denard Robinson, Northwestern’s Dan Persa and Auburn’s Cam Newton. “I’d dominate the nation.”
“What those guys do, that’s what they’re supposed to do in their offense. They carry the ball 30 times a game. I carry the ball maybe five times. There are times I didn’t even run the ball. You put me in any of their offenses, where I can run the ball and have a chance to throw, I would dominate college football.”
Arrogantly taking a shot at Tressel and OSU’s offense, Pryor must not have been aware that he actually averaged 10 rushing attempts per game this season.
Or the fact that he had 20 rushing attempts against Miami and 18 against Wisconsin in a loss, and that only Newton has actually carried the ball 30 times in a game this season, doing it only once.
While it’s not the 30 carries he says he needs to “dominate,” it’s significantly more than the five carries a game he says he gets.
Moreover, right up until the news broke on Dec. 23 that the five were suspended, Pryor denied doing anything wrong.
The day before, when rumors began swirling about Buckeye football players getting free or discounted tattoos, he posted on his Twitter account “I paid for my tattoos. GoBucks.”
However, once the NCAA revealed he would be sitting out a few games for receiving improper benefits, Pryor swiftly deleted the post as if it was never there.
And that’s not the first time Pryor’s arrogance has made its way onto Twitter. Responding to the fact he failed to make first- or second-team all Big-Ten, he tweeted:
“Damn. I must be the worst quarterback/player. I might quit football.”
In response to the Buckeyes 20-17 victory at Iowa this season, Pryor tweeted:
“None of you haters could fill my shoes with 10 socks on. Bums,” directed toward all of his critics.
He has also called former quarterback Kirk Herbstreit a “fake Buckeye” via his Twitter account for criticizing him about the way he acts on the sidelines.
There may not be another person in the world of sports more arrogant than Pryor—oh wait, how could I forget. There is someone with more arrogance than Pryor.
His so-called “main man” and “mentor” LeBron James—AKA Liar, of Earth, Wind & Liar (Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and James)—is more arrogant than he is. Perhaps it’s rubbing off.
Pryor’s arrogance even prevented him from actually preparing a well thought-out apology. While two of his teammates spoke from written notes Tuesday and actually took the time to prepare something heartfelt, including receiver DeVier Posey, who may have been the most remorseful of the five and even “promised” to return for his senior season, Pryor spoke off the top of his head.
"I didn't mean to hurt nobody at all and I didn't mean to bring anything down or embarrassment to our university because this is the greatest university in the nation,” he said Tuesday. "Hopefully I can someday get your forgiveness.”
Although some apologies need to be “off the cuff” and straight from the heart in order to be considered sincere, this wasn’t one of them and it would not have killed his apology to have a few notes in front of him that would have added a little substance to the statement.
Besides, those kind of apologetic statements should be reserved for people who don’t put their foot in their mouth nearly every time a microphone is in front of them, and it’s no secret Pryor’s had his share of foot-in-the-mouth moments.
Of course, he is the one who said this in defense of Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick:
“Not everybody is the perfect person in the world. Everyone does...kills people, murders people, steals from you, steals from me. I just feel people need to give him a chance.”
Pryor’s arrogance is out of control.
A team’s star player can’t go around tweeting and making statements like the ones above, let alone sell the memorabilia and awards that Pryor did, and expect fans to accept them with open arms when things go sour.
Until he comes down from his egotistical arrogant perch and begins to understand what it truly means to be a Buckeye, many fans will not forgive him, even though he asked for it.