Terrelle Pryor has no idea what he has done.
In the wake of the Ohio State scandal, with Pryor being the epi-center of everything, he leaves Ohio State and ends his college career for good. To blame the ills of a university solely consumed with winning, to the point where they would ignore the repeated warnings that they needed to get in compliance, would be foolish and unfair to do to Pryor. After all, he was a kid led by adults whose moral compasses were just as misguided as he was. When they knew the trouble he was in, they did what most sleazy universities do: They looked the other way.
While blaming Pryor solely for the troubles of Ohio State would be irresponsible, letting him off the hook for his blatant violations and his incredible lapse in good judgment would be way out of line in itself. Pryor deserves the blame for much of what has happened to his school, and if he doesn’t understand that by now, then it just speaks to his immaturity and his cluelessness as a person.
Unlike other athletes who have taken money under the table and done their best to disguise it, Pryor seemed to get a satisfaction from flaunting it. After all, it’s been reported that Pryor has been seen driving no less than eight different cars while a student at Ohio State. This speaks not only to the poor judgment he has shown, but additionally to the outrageous sense of entitlement that he must have felt.
Consider this: If you felt that you were grossly underpaid at your job and you began getting money from an associate under the table, would you flaunt it to your co-workers? Would you flaunt it publicly knowing full and well that if you were exposed it could not only damage your own personal future but could hurt your company and the people who work for it? Anyone who can answer yes to these questions knows exactly where the moral compass of Terrelle Pryor is set. It’s a shame.
Of course, there is no real justice in the NCAA. Pryor will walk free while the school deals with the mess. Maybe Pryor has no remorse. Maybe he feels he was owed, and so he was just taking what was rightfully his. The education that he was promised, and may have chosen not to take seriously, was clearly not enough for him. So he’ll leave behind the money invested in him. He’ll take his credits(which he may never use), and he’ll look for life in the NFL, but he might be in for an unpleasant surprise.
What Pryor may find out is the forgiveness of the sports world is an exclusive club that is only for those who truly measure up. The exceptional athletes that have wowed owners, and those with deep pockets get second chances. Those who have amazed us all with their stunning ability and undeniable potential get additional consideration. It’s the reason why Michael Vick has a job. It’s the reason why Mike Tyson fought again. It’s the reason why the Lakers stuck with Kobe Bryant (though he was never convicted of a crime, but accused). These athletes measure up.
Terrelle Pryor is none of those people. His college career never met expectations. His work ethic questioned. His leadership criticized. He hasn’t the talent, or the cache, to convince an NFL owner that he is worth more than a flyer in the NFL.
Once he arrives in the NFL, he’ll have to do something that’s altogether foreign to him at this point: He’ll have to learn humility. Not just show up and participate, but to truly be humble. He’ll have to throw away his ego and his sense of entitlement. He’ll have to remember that in the NFL, he doesn’t rule the roost. Nothing is owed to him, and nothing he wants is deserved. He won’t be the fastest guy or the best guy on the field. He’s another player trying to avoid getting cut. And when NFL coaches have to make tough decisions, his talent isn’t enough to trump what they know. NFL coaches know that Terrelle Pryor is a problem. He’s a spoiled kid who was willing to sacrifice the integrity of his teammates, school and himself for a chance at immediate gratification.
Who is willing to put their multi-million year contract and their coaching reputation in the hands of Terrelle Pryor?
Pryor better hope those cars were worth it. He gave up a lot more than his senior season to drive them.