Terrelle Pryor's journey to the NFL took an interesting turn on Thursday when he was made eligible for the 2011 NFL supplemental draft, which will take place on Monday, August 22. But there is a catch: He has to sit out the first five games of the regular season if and when he signs a contract.
The NFL released a statement saying that Pryor's actions undermined the supplemental draft process and basically that the league was transferring his five-game suspension he was to serve at Ohio State to the NFL.
"Pryor made decisions that undermine the integrity of the eligibility rules for the NFL Draft. Those actions included failing to cooperate with the NCAA and hiring an agent in violation of NCAA rules, which resulted in Ohio State declaring him ineligible to continue playing college football.
"Pryor then applied to enter the NFL after the regular draft. Pryor had accepted at the end of the 2010 college football season a suspension for the first five games of the 2011 season for violating NCAA rules. Pryor will be ineligible to practice prior to or play in the first five games of the NFL regular season after he signs."
The NFL is walking on a slippery slope by upholding a college suspension for a player who will be coming to their league. This is a dangerous precedent, especially if the league doesn't keep doing it for future players who are implicated in college scandals.
Roger Goodell has tried to unleash his wrath on anyone that does wrong by the NFL, but this ordeal makes him look silly. It seems like it is a witch hunt against Pryor, for some reason that we don't know about.
The fact that the league made a point to emphasize that he manipulated the system for the supplemental draft is curious, too.
If he declared for the regular draft, would he have been eligible to play in the first five games? What difference does it make when Pryor declares, or which draft he declares for?
The idea that Pryor "undermined" the process of the supplemental draft is ludicrous. He did nothing wrong, he was eligible for the draft but decided that he wanted to stay in college. His head coach at Ohio State got fired and he was going to be a pariah in the eyes of the fans. He had another opportunity to get in the NFL via this draft, and he took it.
If the inconsistencies with this story aren't bad enough, look at the hypocrisy of Roger Goodell and the NFL.
As David Steele of Sporting News tweeted after this story broke, Brandon Marshall, who was charged with an actual crime, got suspended for one game. Pryor, who did nothing wrong legally, gets suspended for five games.
Where are the NFL's priorities?
Roger Goodell likes to preach that he is cleaning up the NFL, making it a much better sport on and off the field, but at the end of the day, he has no clue what he is doing.
Make no mistake, this suspension has nothing to do with Pryor being a "rule violator" at all.
The hammer is about to come down on the University of Miami thanks to the allegations by former booster Nevin Shapiro. The NFL is feeling pressure to do something to help the NCAA out because if a school is punished for violations, nothing happens to the players who were on that team once they come to the NFL.
Since Pryor is the next player coming into the league who has an NCAA violation hanging over his head, Goodell, in his infinite wisdom, has decided that he has to punish Pryor.
Pryor is an innocent victim, all things considered, because the Almighty Goodell feels that he has to do something with him.
The real tragedy of all this is that Goodell will be allowed to continue to do his job without losing any time or money, while Pryor will miss out on five weeks of practice and development time with his new team.
Congratulations, Roger. You have done it again.