Tag:Terrelle Pryor Out
Posted on: June 8, 2011 12:43 am

Report: Pryor received up to $40,000 in payments

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Terrelle Pryor announced today through his lawyer that he would not be returning to Ohio State for his senior season after all. If that sounds like an odd thing to announce through a lawyer, well, it is. The situation in Columbus is obviously dour, however, and since Pryor has been reported to be at the center of that maelstrom, the last thing he needs to be doing is drawing attention to himself.

Unfortunately for Pryor, his announcement was shortly followed by multiple reports that he had received tens of thousands of dollars for things like memorabilia and autographs, which is an egregious violation of the NCAA's amateurism clause. Here's more from an ESPN report:

Terrelle Pryor [...] made thousands of dollars autographing memorabilia in 2009-10, a former friend who says he witnessed the transactions has told "Outside the Lines."

The signings for cash, which would be a violation of NCAA rules, occurred a minimum of 35 to 40 times, netting Pryor anywhere from $20,000 to $40,000 that year, the former friend says.

He said Pryor was paid $500 to $1,000 each time he signed mini football helmets and other gear for a Columbus businessman and freelance photographer, Dennis Talbott. Talbott twice denied to ESPN that he ever paid Pryor or any other active Buckeye athlete to sign memorabilia. He said last week he has only worked with former players to set up signings. On Tuesday evening, he declined to comment whether he had ever operated a sports memorabilia business and said he was not an Ohio State booster.

The unnamed friend goes on to describe various lavish purchases Pryor made, which ESPN independently confirmed. The friend also details the arrangement Talbott had with Pryor, and it basically sounds like Talbott was a clearinghouse for Pryor to make money off his autographs. Again, obviously, that's completely illegal in the NCAA.

This would sound like an unverifiable hatchet job by a former friend if his story weren't apparently corroborated by Sports By Brooks, which provides evidence that Talbott has been selling Pryor-autographed material (along with other sports memorabilia) on eBay. Additionally, SBB reports that the NCAA has recently discovered checks from Talbott to Pryor, though that report is unconfirmed.

Brooks notes, however, that OSU asked Talbott to disassociate himself completely from the football program during the 2010 season, which could be a very troubling development. If Ohio State's athletic department uncovered evidence that Pryor had been accepting money from Talbott -- precisely the type of thing that would necessitate such a disassociation -- then let Pryor play anyway, then that is a serious violation of NCAA rules. In other words, it would be another instance of a possible sham of a compliance department. And if that's the case, all of a sudden, the heat's not only on Jim Tressel anymore, and the possibility for massive punishment increases dramatically.

Of course, just as with the car dealership issue, there are still plenty of ifs between here and "sham compliance department," and the investigations are still ongoing, so there's no need to shovel dirt on Ohio State just yet. These are still dark days in Columbus, however, and president Gordon Gee and athletic director Gene Smith must be hoping there's no bad news left. The way this situation has unfolded already, though, that's far from a guarantee.

Posted on: June 7, 2011 9:58 pm

So who's Ohio State's next starting quarterback?

Posted by Adam Jacobi

With the wholly unsurprising but still consequential news that Terrelle Pryor is leaving Ohio State, there's now a rather large, quarterback-shaped hole in Ohio State's starting lineup. Finding a replacement QB isn't exactly a new challenge for the Buckeyes -- Pryor was suspended for the first five games of 2011 anyway -- but the dynamic shifts somewhat now that Pryor won't be coming to the rescue in Week 6. It's one thing to be a five-week placeholder; it's another to be a true No. 1 quarterback.

With that in mind, here's a look at Ohio State's new quarterback situation. 

Joe Bauserman, Sr.

PROS: Joe Bauserman is the most seasoned of the Ohio State quarterbacks now, and as always, that means he's old. Bauserman is 26, in fact, having pursued a baseball career after high school instead of enrolling in college. And being that Bauserman's 26, he's further along physically than his teammates are. From a foot-speed standpoint, he's not the most athletic of the quarterbacks, but he's experienced, has good footwork in the pocket, has the football IQ to look off defenders, and has the arm to make plenty of throws.

CONS: Bauserman has never distinguished himself as a passer during his time at OSU, and his 4-11, 42-yard performance in the spring game did little to quell concerns that he's actually just mediocre. Obviously, he'll do better than a 36% completion rate and 3.8 yards per attempt over the course of the 2011 season -- he went 16-22 for 174 yards in 2010, after all -- but as pure upside goes, Bauserman might be last on this list. Fortunately for Bauserman, OSU needs a quarterback right now, not in five years. 

Braxton Miller, Fr.

PROS: If Bauserman's ineffective at any point, Ohio State will probably go next to Braxton Miller, a tantalizing true freshman prospect who was rated the top quarterback in last year's crop of recruits by Tom Lemming. Miller has a frame more like Troy Smith than Terrelle Pryor, but that's fine, because Smith did win a Heisman, after all. More importantly, Miller's athleticism has drawn many more comparisons to Pryor.

Miller enrolled early at OSU in order to start getting acclimated to the offense; that's welcome news for the Buckeyes, because if Bauserman struggles early on, the Columbus faithful will probably be clamoring to see Miller under center. You can't balme them, either; Miller is electric in the open field, and he's already a competent passer.

CONS: Miller is still just a true freshman, though, so either the coaches will have to substantially dial back the offense for Miller, or he'll likely struggle too. He's probably a year away from really getting up to speed, but that's a luxury Ohio State doesn't have right now. Starting and struggling in 2011 may do wonders for Miller's on-field maturation process, but that doesn't make him the best option in 2011.

Kenny Guiton, So.

PROS: If it's athleticism that interim head coach Luke Fickell wants and Miller's experience remains an issue, however, OSU could also turn to Kenny Guiton. Guiton is a dual-threat QB with speed to burn. He's got all the intangibles a coach could want in a quarterback, and he has performed pretty well in spring game situations thus far. With Terrelle Pryor leading the team, that hasn't led to much playing time for Guiton -- just mopup duty behind Bauserman last year, in fact -- but that's probably about to change.

CONS: Guiton is in his third year with the program, and generally by Year 3, there's a pretty good sense of what a quarterback's going to be capable of. For Guiton, the passing acuity doesn't appear to be where it needs to be yet. His experience may make him a better option than Miller on Day 1, as the mobile QBs go, but that's a gap that'll move substantially in Miller's favor over the course of that freshman season.

Taylor Graham, RFr.

PROS: If quarterbacking were a matter of just looking the part, the OSU job would be Taylor Graham's to lose; Graham has the frame of an NFL quarterback, tall and strong. He's got the arm to match, too, with the ability to make just about any throw in the Buckeye playbook. He's even got the pedigree to succeed: his father is Kent Graham, a former Ohio State and NFL quarterback.

CONS: What Graham doesn't have is experience; he's just a redshirt freshman, and he spent a significant portion of his high school career on the sidelines, injured. The concern here isn't the injuries themselves, but the amount of time and repetitions they've cost him already. Combine that with the fact that Graham is only in his second year in Columbus, and he's going to have to blow coaches away with his passing if he wants to shoot up the depth chart. There hasn't been any indication that that's going on yet. The potential for rapid growth is there, though. 

Posted on: June 7, 2011 5:54 pm
Edited on: June 7, 2011 6:26 pm

BREAKING: Pryor done at Ohio State

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

For the past few weeks, the rumor has been that the NCAA investigation into the Ohio State improper benefits scandal would eventually claim the last season of eligibility of Buckeye star quarterback Terrelle Pryor.

Thought still not official, those rumors seem dramatically more substantial this afternoon as Pryor's lawyer, Columbus attorney Larry James, has announced his client has elected to end his Ohio State career. As first reported by the Cleveland Plain-Dealer's Doug Lesmerises:

James read the following statement to the Plain-Dealeron behalf of Pryor:
"In the best interest of my team, I have decided to forego my senior year of football at the Ohio State University" ...
James also spoke about the "emotion" of the decision:
"We've talked about the emotional roller coaster that he is going through," James told the Plain Dealer, "and even if he was cleared 100 percent it was going to be difficult."
The "if" in James's statement and his assertion that Pryor will not "necessarily" face further sanctions will, unfortunately, only fuel the fire that Pryor has come to the decision in the face of potential eligibility issues.

As for what's next for Pryor, James said he "thinks" his client will apply for the NFL's supplemental draft (though the lockout may cancel the event altogether), but left the door open for an unlikely year spent on campus as a student only.

Via the Ohio State blog Eleven Warriors, acting head coach Luke Fickell released the following statement which would seem to support the supplemental draft plan:

OU athletic director Gene Smith added that the department "wish[es Pryor] well in the next phase of his life." No other comment is expected tonight.

Eye on CFB
will have more on this story as it develops throughout this evening.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com