The NFL Is Wrong in Suspending Terrelle Pryor and Jim Tressel

Marlowe AlterContributor ISeptember 8, 2011

COLUMBUS, OH - SEPTEMBER 12:  Terrelle Pryor #2 and head coach Jim Tressel of the Ohio State Buckeyes look on from the sidelines during their game against the USC Trojans at Ohio Stadium on September 12, 2009 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Soon after the 2011 college football season, the NCAA announced they had suspended Terrelle Pryor and several Ohio State teammates for the first five games of the upcoming season for receiving improper benefits from a Columbus tattoo-parlor owner.

When Terrelle Pryor decided to forgo his final year of college eligibility and jump to the NFL, most people figured he had dodged his NCAA suspension. But, it was announced before last month's Supplemental Draft (where Pryor was selected by the Oakland Raiders) that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell had suspended Pryor for five games because of his NCAA violations. 

Then, just this week, the Indianapolis Colts hired Pryor's former coach, the disgraced Jim Tressel as a replay consultant. They too suspended Tressel for actions (or lack thereof) he committed while at Ohio State.

As much as I believe Pryor and Tressel should pay for violating the NCAA's rules, I have a hard time understanding why the the NFL has stepped in and upheld the suspensions they received in college. Last time I checked, the NCAA was a separate governing body. So why did Goodell and the Colts step in and levy suspensions for actions that occurred in college? It makes little sense to me.

Does this mean Reggie Bush will be suspended for taking improper benefits while at USC? Or, what about the Miami Hurricane players who currently play in the NFL who have been implicated in the Miami football scandal? Will Ray Lewis, Andre Johnson and Miami alums mentioned in the report be forced to miss time? What if Cam Newton is found to have received benefits while at Auburn, will he be suspended? Until now, the answer was of course not. It was a laughable question. By suspending Pryor, the NFL has opened up a can of worms and has set a precedent that they now must follow for the foreseeable future.