Posted by Adam Jacobi
If there was any hope at Ohio State that the heightened media scrutiny on the Buckeyes would relax with Jim Tressel out of the picture, that should be out the window already. USA Today reported this afternoon that Terrelle Pryor, who's already under NCAA investigation for various car-related dealings, actually shouldn't be driving that Nissan 350 Z at right at all, considering that he currently has a suspended license. Here's more:
Pryor's license was suspended last month because he had no proof of insurance when he was stopped by Columbus police for running a stop sign Feb. 17.
"His suspension was related to the Feb. 17, 2011, conviction," said [spokeswoman] Lindsey Wayt Bohrer of Ohio's BMV. "His court date for this was April 2. We didn't receive the paperwork from the court on this until April 14. Then we give the customer 30 days notice before suspending. To lift the suspension, he must show proof of insurance from the Feb. 17, 2011, date. As of now, he has not shown proof of insurance. If he shows proof of insurance, the suspension will be deleted. If he does not show proof of insurance, he will have to pay the reinstatement fee and be suspended through at least Aug. 18."
From what Bohrer explained, even though Pryor failed to show proof of insurance in the middle of February, his license wasn't suspended until May 14, so he's only been driving illegally for fewer than three weeks. Further, he could have the suspension lifted tomorrow if he can prove he's been insured since February. He's a Pennsylvania native living in Ohio, so it's possible that the paperwork is all still out there and he hasn't gotten an opportunity to get it together for the courts yet. Also, there's nothing inherently dangerous about driving with a suspended license, per se; it's not affecting the car's equipment or Pryor's ability to operate it, so the only irresponsibility here is to Pryor himself.
And yet. And yet, and yet, and yet.
This report would seem to further demonstrate that Pryor is of the mindset that he can play by different rules than everybody else. And for the most part, he has been allowed to operate exactly that way during his time in Columbus. Major college football players are pretty much exalted wherever they go, so Pryor's hardly alone, but the man was allowed to drive up to eight different cars (not all at the same time, that's physically impossible) while in Columbus. According to Monday's Sports Illustrated report, he also traded over 20 pieces of equipment for tattoos and, when asked by a tattoo parlor employee where they came from, reportedly told him "I get whatever I want."
At the same time, even if Jim Tressel hadn't yet resigned, this isn't really an issue that should be left at his feet. Pryor's the one deciding to drive on a suspended license, not Tressel, and there's only so much responsibility a coach should take for the everyday decisions of his grownup players. If Terrelle Pryor wants to ball harder than Arthur Bach when he's off the field, that's his choice and the consequences will be his too.