MIAMI BEACH, Fla. -- Terrelle Pryor signed for free.
The historic moment occurred Tuesday, a few minutes after a fraud of a sham of a joke of a news conference that his manipulating, oily, loud-mouthed superagent called to waste everyone's time. The real news occurred out of sight of cameras and (most) notebooks when Luke Lemoncelli offered his mini-Buckeye helmet to Ohio State's disgraced quarterback as Pryor was whisked away down a Fontainebleau Hotel hallway.
The signed helmet was handed back, signed without -- brace yourselves -- the nation's most famous in-limbo QB asking for a tattoo in return. Let's be kind for a moment: With Pryor's college days over and his professional future less than certain, the market for his autograph has kind of bottomed out. But here's a novel concept: Lemoncelli, a just-graduated high school student, doesn't care.
"I'm going to keep it," said Lemoncelli, who just moved from New Jersey to Florida. "I collect all this stuff."
So does a certain Columbus tattoo parlor owner, kid. That's why that scene may be how we remember Pryor. His mouthpiece Drew Rosenhaus tried his best to hijack the moment in announcing that Pryor essentially had declared for the NFL supplemental draft Tuesday afternoon. That was hardly the news. There's no guarantee Pryor will be a) taken; b) taken high or c) taken as a quarterback.
Or ever take a snap as a professional.
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Terrelle Pryor and Drew Rosenhaus hinted Tuesday that Pryor left OSU because he was about to be ruled ineligible. Read More >>
That's why Rosenhaus did his best Rosenhaus, trying to drum up hype for what he termed, "a great, not a good quarterback, a great quarterback in the National Football League." Whatever. The real mystery remains why Pryor is in the situation in the first place. It's easy to draw our own conclusions.
Pryor left Ohio State abruptly last week. On the same day, ESPN reported he had taken more than tattoos and a few bucks for his signature. Pryor reportedly received $20,000-$40,000 during his three years at Ohio State just for being Terrelle. Oh, and there's the appearance that he has driven a used-car lot since coming to Columbus.
Three months away from stepping on the field for his senior year, less than two months from Ohio State's NCAA infractions committee hearing, T.P. bounced. On Tuesday, Rosenhaus tried to draw our attention away from the moral arguments left behind. The ones about paying players, the debate about the level of diligence in the scandal by Ohio State's president, AD and compliance department.
After nine minutes of the badly staged presser, the main message was reinforced: Pryor took care of Pryor. It's a philosophy that Reggie Bush can relate to and one that isn't uncommon. Entitlement R Them.
"For a college student, I understand," Lemoncelli said. "College students don't have a lot of money, know what I mean? I think the NCAA needs to make some new rules for college students with money."
Perhaps those two were sloppier than everyone else. Perhaps the system is broken. Green at least got part of a final season to show off for the NFL. It's clear Pryor is being pushed into this abyss because the NCAA is closing in, but for what? For about 1½ minutes of that news conference, Pryor apologized (again, considering he was already suspended for five games) and hinted.
"I never meant to hurt anybody directly with my conduct off the field and I am truly sorry," Pryor said.
We know about some of it. Is there more? There was more from Rosenhaus who quoted his newest client as that client sat right next to him: "Drew, I didn't make this decision. I did not want to leave Ohio State. I wanted to finish at Ohio State, even knowing I would lose five games. I lost that opportunity through my own conduct."
One mystery will be solved. We'll eventually find out the depth of Pryor's wrongdoing when the infractions committee releases its reports months from now. By then, Pryor may be a bigger question on the field than he is off of it.
That's why Rosenhaus manipulated as only he can do. In the space of those nine minutes, he compared Pryor to Cam Newton, claimed his client would run a 4.4 40 for the pros and could "jump through the gym."
"You can't tell me people aren't going to jump on this young man," Rosenhaus said.
Oh, yes we can, if only because the agent seemed so needy trying to rehab Pryor's image. Don't forget that Rosenhaus may have been an inspiration for Jerry Maguire. The difference being that in the movie, Jerry eventually finds his soul. It seems that the real-life Drew would sell his just to get Pryor into the NFL.
Check out this glowing report of Pryor's Tuesday morning workout with Chad Ochocinco at a local high school.
"In the middle of his workout [Ochocinco] came over to me and he says, 'Are you serious, Drew. They're talking about him not being a quarterback? He is as good as any quarterback I've played with.' For anyone who questions his arm strength, give me a break. "
Maybe, but here's what a decidedly more somber Ochocinco was credited with tweeting to Pryor earlier Tuesday.
u ready young grasshopper? Don't blink ...