17 May 2012
Time heals all wounds. It may be an old saying, but truer words have never been spoken. Even though it feels like yesterday when Terrelle Pryor was the heralded freshman quarterback out of
Terrelle Pryor has been described in many ways from Buckeye fans and college football fans around the country - selfish, brash, arrogant, cocky - those are a few that were uttered, but under appreciated should be added to the list. TP didn't go out with a National Championship or a Heisman Trophy as Texas coach Mack Brown once predicted he would. He was forced out due to NCAA violations stemming from investigations dealing with selling memorabilia and receiving free tattoos. The 'fleet' of vehicles? Barely mentioned by those who mattered most - the NCAA. Playing for a university as large as
While playing at Ohio State he accomplished many feats, but fell short on bringing a crystal trophy back to Columbus. Though Pryor did not win a national title he boasted a 3-0 record versus
What Pryor and his teammates were able to accomplish on the field can still outweigh what mistakes they made off of the field. Yes it was those mistakes that gave Ohio State an abysmal 2011, but in hindsight - imagine being in his shoes.
Any eighteen year old that's being exploited by a million dollar corporation (NCAA) would like to reap some of the benefits from their respective universities. Whether it was tattoos, cars, money - it's difficult. How would you handle, as a teenager, the knowledge that you're helping an institution get free promotion and billions of dollars worth of revenue from using your talent while you try to pitch in a few thousand dollars to make ends meet from a 'full ride' scholarship that doesn't equate to 'full?'
That's not to say that I support or condone what he did, but I understand it. Incidents like this happen on a daily basis on college campuses all over this country and 99% of the time it remains a secret. Undetected. Unpunished. But teenagers accepting gifts - or money - isn't a new idea. A teenager saying, "no thank you," to $3,000 while the school he plays works for earns a few hundred thousand dollars off of his jersey sales? Yes, it would be noble. But it would be new, or at a minimum 'rare,' and it's simply not reality.
Recently Pryor had an interview with Sports Illustrated’s Jim Trotter, stating:
"The reason why I did it was to pay my mother's gas bill and some of her rent. She was four months behind in rent."
"Let me remind you it was freezing cold in November, December, and she's using the oven as heat. That's what I did as a kid. I was telling the NCAA, 'Please, anything that you can do. I gave my mother this so my sister wouldn't be cold, so my mother wouldn't be cold.' They (NCAA) didn't have any sympathy for me."
It's unknown if what Pryor mentioned is true. We'll likely never know. But whether it is or not, the fans need to let it go. It's over and done with - and can't be changed now. I know it may be basic and cliché, but people make mistakes. Plain and simple. There really is no other way around it. Mistakes are a part of life and the way to judge someone from a mistake is to see how they bounce back from whatever mistake they've committed.
Terrelle Pryor is bouncing back.
From reading the interview with Trotter it seems as if Pryor has matured a lot, in a relatively short amount of time, since his playing days at
Before taking verbal jabs at Pryor - loser, jerk, crybaby, quitter - take a moment and think about what you are going to say. This is the same person that had 106,000 fans roaring on Saturday afternoons in the Horseshoe. The same who took out Wisconsin, in Madison, as a true freshman. The exact same kid who found the first down chains by foot to close out Iowa on a cold night at Kinnick. You rooted for that, didn't you?
Why not think about the good times Pryor had with