Everybody Leaves

By Ramzy Nasrallah on June 8, 2011 at 8:30a
73 Comments
Only Art Schlichter won more games as an Ohio State QB.

Seven years ago this month, a highly-sought after high school quarterback from Mission Viejo took a flight from Southern California to Columbus for a two-day official recruiting visit to Ohio State.

Upon arrival he was given the requisite nickel tour of campus and football facilities.  He got to spend time with some of the players who had just brought home back-to-back Fiesta Bowl trophies. 

He also got a strong sense of what Troy Smith and Justin Zwick were probably feeling as adversaries in what was already a highly-scrutinized battle for Ohio State's starting quarterback position several months before it had truly started.

Near the conclusion of his visit he found himself at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center sitting in the head coach's office, right in front of his desk.  Fourth-year boss Jim Tressel talked to him at length about his visit, his upcoming senior year in high school and what Ohio State had to offer to a player of his caliber.

Tressel recruiting pitches were always legendary in that they frequently strayed from the topic of football.  As was his custom, no promises were made regarding playing time or the depth chart.  The big picture, life's runway, fulfillment of potential and the navigation of a virtuous life surely made appearances as Tressel moved to close for business.

"You know," Tressel told the recruit, "the two most important people in the state of Ohio are the governor and the quarterback for Ohio State."

It was a brash statement to make about a state with well over 11 million residents and a GDP of almost half a trillion dollars.  Eight US Presidents either hailed from or were born in Ohio. 

There were and still are 12 other state universities beside Ohio State, six medical schools, numerous professional sports teams and six percent of the top 1000 publicly-traded companies in the country that are headquartered in Ohio. 

Regardless of those realities, there was Ohio State's head coach telling a California kid that the head of the state government and his team's quarterback were the two most important people in the entire state.  It's a bold declaration, if not sarcastic.

After a brief pause, Tressel provided clarification: "And the quarterback for Ohio State is number one."  He wasn't kidding. 

Feeding the beast

Nobody is born entitled.  Entitlement is a product of cultivation.  Shower any kid - talented, special or fiercely average - with enough adulation without properly pruning his ego and you'll create a monster.

The MVP of two BCS victories would normally be granted sainthood.

When Mark Sanchez - the QB recruit and eventual USC Trojan who sat in Tressel's office that afternoon - recounted the story of his recruitment to ESPN the Magazine back in 2008 prior to his team's game against Ohio State, it was more than a just a taste of the Buckeye football-obsessed nature of Ohio.  It was a glimpse into what would eventually be Tressel’s undoing.  

Ohio State's quarterback may not be the second-most important person in Ohio, but he was always the most important person to Tressel.  His preoccupation with signal callers has woven its way into the tapestry that now illustrates his rise and fall, from Ray Isaac delivering him his first I-AA national championship at Youngstown State, to Craig Krenzel running QB sneaks like cloaked daggers into Miami's heart, to Troy Smith making the move from back-up kick returner to runaway Heisman winner, to Pryor almost taking Tressel back to the brink of immortality.

The Buckeyes' quarterbacks coach Nick Siciliano might be the nicest guy on the staff and a worthy mentor, but the reality is that his hiring in 2005 - with a resume that shouldn't have even been considered for a program like Ohio State's - essentially allowed Tressel to serve the position himself while Joe Daniels battled health problems.

Siciliano was learning how to be a quarterbacks coach at Ohio State.  Consider how absurd that is for a moment: He had Smith and Zwick to groom into junior quarterbacks coming off of what had been the worst season of the Tressel era.  Don't kid yourself about who was closest to the Buckeye quarterbacks of the entire coaching staff: It wasn't Siciliano.

Pryor was not abruptly groomed into the brazen, entitled campus big shot that he was every day of his three years in Columbus.  This was a kid who had his own action figure in high school.  As a teenager he was friends with and employed by Ted Sarniak, one of the wealthier residents if not the wealthiest of Jeanette, who finds his name in the news with Pryor's predictable forfeiture of his final season of collegiate eligibility.

He arrived in Columbus entitled, and remained that way up until he announced his departure, seemingly oblivious or deliberately ignorant to the consequences of his actions all along the way. 

If Pryor was going to be injected with the necessary humility and grace to be a successful adult on a stage with millions of dollars at stake, it was going to have to be off the field.  Perhaps from the one coach who was closer to him than anyone else.

He leaves Ohio State with a 31-4 record, which is the second-most wins in school history by a quarterback only to Art Schlichter.  This is when your brain can't help itself from making a connection between the disgraced star athlete of the day and Ohio State's most famous serial felon who has spent over a decade in 44 different prison cells.

He would have cruised by Schlichter's 36 wins before Columbus even considered the idea of getting chilly this season, and he very likely would have run all over the still-dismal Michigan Wolverine defense this November, making him the winningest quarterback in school history and the only one ever to go 4-0 in the game that matters most. 

Ability didn't fail him.  His lack of humility failed him.  His 'mentor' Sarniak failed him.  Ohio State failed him.  His coach failed him, and he failed himself.  It looks as though Pryor had his hand out from the moment he appeared on campus and did not withdraw it until he left for good yesterday. 

Don't think too hard about where his sense of entitlement came from because it came from everywhere and from everyone.  It started in Jeanette and continued in earnest in Columbus.  

Most recently, it came from being told from day one that he was the most important person in Ohio, more important than the governor.  Don't believe for a second that Tressel's pitch to Sanchez wasn't recycled for Pryor.  Don't believe for a second that Braxton Miller wasn't told the same thing either.

You may be an Ohio State football fan for 10 more minutes or 80 more years, but you'll go to your grave wondering why Jim Tressel repeated rolled over and compromised his character, his $3.5 million salary and his dream job for a reckless star quarterback when neither his legacy or his institution needed him to be successful.

not too big to fail

One thing that is probably lost on short attention spans, casual observers and fans of teams that aren't the Buckeyes is that Pryor was never actually entitled on the field.  As talented as he was just falling out of bed with his frame and natural ability, he never allowed anyone to outwork him.  He played hurt.  He played his ass off. 

As often as they triumphed, Tressel and Pryor ultimately failed each other.

It's been clear for awhile that his remarkable football discipline significantly outweighed his personal self-command, from his inability to drive responsibly (in loaner cars!) to his audacious disregard for basic NCAA rules.  

Pryor knew exactly who he was, was aware of what he was capable of and he exploited it with total disregard for the framework that the arcane NCAA operates under. 

Maurice Clarett served as a cautionary tale for this behavior, not just to Pryor and every other player who has been found or is under suspicion for improper benefits, but for Tressel himself.  Ohio State football is bigger than Woody Hayes.  It dwarfs Archie Griffin and every other Heisman winner. 

What Clarett - and now Pryor - have quickly found out is that it does not matter how many games you win at Ohio State if you sully the name of the program.  You have to leave it clean.  Pride may be a deadly sin, but it is still the cornerstone of Buckeye fandom. 

Win 31 games and two BCS bowls and you're a hero.  Disgrace Ohio State and you're scrubbed from the empire.  Pryor is effectively dead to Buckeye fans now.  He isn't even polarizing anymore.

All he had to do was show restraint for four years in exchange for a lifetime of goodwill and guaranteed employment.  It's an offer that anyone provided with competent mentoring should have gladly taken.

No one player is worth dishonoring what thousands of men have spent over a century building. No one player was worth compromising the program that Tressel had established over the past decade.  At some point, Tressel himself somehow lost sight of that.  Based on the number of proven and pending allegations against him, it's unclear if Pryor ever saw that at all.

After Ohio State lost the BCS title game to LSU in January of 2008, one of the very first people to buzz Tressel on his cell phone while he was still in the locker room digesting the loss was Pryor himself, then a still-uncommitted high school senior.  He reassured his future coach that the Buckeyes would be back on that stage and successful with him under center.

Tressel had just gotten the Buckeyes back to the title game despite relatively weak lines on both sides of the ball and a statuesque, wholly ineffective Todd Boeckman under center.  The most important person in the state of Ohio is Ohio State's quarterback, and Pryor was his top priority.  Even though his formal signing with Ohio State was delayed for months, his destination was never in doubt.

Not even halfway through his tenure on campus, Pryor gave himself an intricate (and discounted) reminder of who he played for tattooed on his throwing arm; a Block O engulfed in Buckeye leaves.  It will now serve as an permanent memento of what could have been.

Ironically, Pryor ultimately kept the promise that he made to Tressel that night over the phone in New Orleans:  He did get Ohio State back on that stage in the Louisiana Superdome and the BCS, albeit not to the title game. 

Tressel allowing Pryor to keep that promise instead of disciplining him - before and after the Tatgate episode - ultimately did them both in.  Now Ohio State football is experiencing unprecedented turmoil with an NCAA investigation, relentless national and local media frenzy and an interim coach who doesn't seem to have permission to make public appearances yet.  This probably isn't the bottom, either.

With Pryor now gone, it seems the least of the Buckeyes' troubles is the task of finding out who the most important person in Ohio is going to be next. 

73 Comments

Comments

BuckeyeChief's picture

Great piece but "Pryor is effectively dead to Buckeye fans now" isn't wholly true; just as I still thank Mo C for his efforts, i'll thank TP for his. His lack of perspective and humility were his downfall. I have flip-flopped on him alot over the last few years, but for all his mistakes, he was never out-worked and played hurt. I can't forget that.

I won't forgive/forget his off the field transgressions, but let's not throw him completely under the bus.

 

"Clutch has no boundaries"

Pam's picture

I agree Chief.  Like Mo, TP got huge stars in his eyes and like Mo, for very good reasons. What they did is on them, but no one can deny what they did on the field. I never doubted for a second either players desire to win and to do what it takes to do so. Both of them at critical times made plays that without them the Buckeyes would have lost (Mo stripping the ball from Taylor, TP's fourth and log vs. Iowa). I am not as much mad at them as I am extremely sad that the one of a kind talent both possess is not what they will be remembered for and that tOSU will be answering for their behavior forever.

RBuck's picture

"Great piece but "Pryor is effectively dead to Buckeye fans now" isn't wholly true;"

Very true. The future santions that he will have helped to bring will live with us for a few years. I'm going miss him on the field but at least I don't have to worry about him breaking any more NCAA rules.

BTW Chief, did you mod your own signature?

"It's just another case of there you are". ~ Doc (1918-2012)

BuckeyeChief's picture

Yes, yes I did.

 

"Clutch has no boundaries"

LeeNorthbrook's picture

"Pryor is effectively dead to Buckeye fans now"

He is to this fan. Brown bread.

 

Denny's picture

Very well-said. We won a whole lot of games with him at the helm. I'm not going to forget that.

Taquitos.

BuckeyeBacker98's picture

We won a lot of games before him, we will win a lot of games after him and we would have won a lot of games the past 3 years without him.

Whatever benefits he brought to Ohio State on the football field don't come close to the storm of shit he rained down on the team and the University by his selfish, arrogant behavior.

cal3713's picture

Well, the record books are.

Denny's picture

No, not the record books!!

Taquitos.

joel121270's picture

I am assuming no one write articles like this until the kids are gone from the program and I get it. Excellent article Ramzy in that finally it can be said that this kid didn't get it. It blows my mind how they come out of high school and "didn't know" the rules. I find that truly hard to accept. Anyway, another great piece and hopefully we can continue on the great tradition of watching our belove Buckeyes kick ass some day soon.

Maestro's picture

Well done.

He is our Reggie Bush, and I fear that the NCAA will feel the same way.

vacuuming sucks

nickma71's picture

The scenarios aren't even close regarding the players or the schools reaction to it, no matter how much ESPN and SI want it to be. USC knew, and encouraged his payment plan from the agent. And when the NCAA tried to investigate, USC tried to block them. This isn't close to how OSU handled Tatgate.

I don't think Pryor is an elite QB, but he was a heck of a college football player. And yes, he played his ass off.

Maestro's picture

Agree that the sitiations are very different, but if the autograph for pay stuff is verified I don't think the punishment will be much different.  I don't see us losing the amount of scholarships that USC did, but I expect the vacated wins and the post season ban at this point.

Again the situations are different, but in the end the punishment may be very similar and that is all that really matters.

vacuuming sucks

Doug T's picture

His emotional maturity just never matched his physical maturity. Everyone involved with him holds some responsibility for this as you have shown. Great article Ramzy.

GoBucks713's picture

I'm ready to move on, but am fully aware that this situation will be with us for the rest of our lives. Were 31 wins really worth this?

-The Aristocrats!

WilloughbyBuck's picture

Had the same thought.  Loved the magic he was able to pull off at crunch time but right now I'd say, "No, it wasn't worth it."  Ask me again in a couple years and maybe the current pain will have worn off enough to change my mind.

GoBucks713's picture

If only Antonio Henton wouldn't have "helped" that lady in need of a ride, we would have 3 heismans from him and none of this TP garbage!

-The Aristocrats!

ERIC OSU's picture

bwhaha well played.

personally, i was always on the train, "what could've been if robbie schoenhoft didn't transfer...."

Lucys Daddy is a Buckeye's picture

+1

...And when we win the game, We'll buy a keg of booze....And we'll drink to old Ohio til we wobble in our shoes...

GoBucks713's picture

Maybe we can get Scotty McMullen to stop trying to pick up Dennison Co-eds at Brews and other bouts with douchebaggery and come back and be our new QB coach?

-The Aristocrats!

buckeyedude's picture

I don't think it's fair to compare Terrelle to Maurice or Art. The two latter are habitual convicted felons.  

Terrelle was just a cocky kid with an entitlement mentality, and it got him in trouble. But, he never robbed anybody at gunpoint, or stole thousands of $ from someone...yet.

Personally, I can more easily forgive Terrelle than the other two. He was exciting to watch, and I knew he wouldn't lose to Michelin.

I agree with Pam: those three stars, TP, MoC, and Art will be remembered by me as great players that never fulfilled their Godly potential.

BTW, for what it's worth, I read on another website that Bobby Knight said that "the rule regarding players being unable to sell their own property is stupid."

 
 

Scott K's picture

"All he had to do was show restraint for four years in exchange for a lifetime of goodwill and guaranteed employment.  It's an offer that anyone provided with competent mentoring should have gladly taken."

 

I think this cuts right to the heart of the issue.  Fail. 

Fail on Tressel's part.  Fail on OSU's part. Fail on the "mentors" and his mother's part.  And most importantly, a giant fail on Pryor's part.

No matter how good you are, no one can predict or guarantee NFL success. For one, career ending injury is always just a play away.  

Archie is a perfect example, both for success or lack there of in the NFL, and the lifetime of goodwill and employement he will always be provided by the OSU family.

Fail.

"There's a fine line between stupid, and....clever.  David St. Hubbins/Nigel Tufnel

Blake's picture

Hmm...well I hereby challenge you to an icon battle.

Bucks's picture

I think this entire mess is unfortunate & to some degree I do feel a little bad for TP and the relentless pressure. I'm still not willing to just attribute everything to youth.

I'm going to wait to see how some of these things play out in regards to the most recent accusations but if any of the recent money-making and/or car issues prove true, any affection for him is gone on my part. I'd gladly hand every single one of those wins back, not have the success we've had over his time here if it means we avoid what could potentially be sanctions that surpass USC.

It is one thing to claim ignorance to rules regarding personal awards or understand that those infractions are relatively minor. It is entirely different (and indefensible) if he has been doing the things that have been alleged. The hypocrisy that is the NCAA is filled with insane #'s of rules, variations of those rules, additional *'s to those rules, etc. The latest possibilities are nowhere close to being obscured rules violations & he would have had to willfully say screw my university & team to do so.

Out of all these different links, there is really only one portion to concern me. I saw a quote somewhere here that OSU has already been notified/cited in regards to additional violations by TP. Might have been Brooks, which means hopefully wrong. Any person here have any indication that this is correct? People say quite a bit when piling on but the credibility of this resides with any official notification.

RBuck's picture

I actually hope that tOSU has already received any additional violations notice from the NCAA. The sooner this whole mess is resolved, the better.

"It's just another case of there you are". ~ Doc (1918-2012)

Bucks's picture

I'll probably pencil that announcement in for Friday :P

NYC Buckeye's picture

This is an outstanding article Ramzy...

JBuckeye's picture

So I'm curious.  If the NCAA vacates wins, will tOSU do the same?  And thus drop TPs records from the school record books? Or will they be like baseball records, and just have an asterisk next to them?

theDuke's picture

Way to go Ramzy. Very insightful to the S&G faithful psyche. We won a lot of games with TP and I wish him the best in the future because that is apparently where his legacy will lie. On another note, talking USC, can we even consider the NCAA an effective watch dog anymore? I mean, retroactive sanctions, stripping titles, all that kind of jazz just makes them look even more the clown, in my opinion. It's like saying Pete Rose isn't a Hall of famer. He is. The thing about sports fans is that we inherently care only about what happens on the field. And there is little that the NCAA can do to really change history, other than the way it's printed.

theDuke

cal3713's picture

Just like a watchdog, they're only effective when people realize what will happen if they break the rules.  Right now is a recalibration period where the NCAA is teaching the CFB world what happens.  And we're fucked.

Bucksfan's picture

Ramzy, though I agree with you about Pryor, your sentiments towards how his actions have sullied the program that took a century to build, are far and away missing the bigger picture, and place far too much blame on the kid in the limelight.  The overall message I've taken from this is that Ohio State Football is just like any other big time football program, and relies on very shady practices to entice players to sign and stay, and there is no doubt that it has been like that for a WHILE.  Pryor may have been part of that, he may have gotten caught, but how can he sully a program that is already sullied?

Basically, he's not the only one who did this kind of stuff.  Had they dealt their stuff to someone who wasn't going to get investigated by the Feds, you'd never know any different, and you'd be writing about what a Buckeye hero he was.  You can't hang one guy in effigy simply because he got caught.  The tattoo parlor owner had memorabilia from all sorts of Buckeye players, and we don't even know when he acquired them.  There were 5 OTHER players involved in just this one scandal.  Troy Smith and Maurice Clarett got caught 5 and 8 years ago.  Think of all the other players not getting caught.  Pryor, Smith, and Clarett are all guilty of slightly different, albiet well-known shady practices.  Pryor sold his trophies for cash, Smith got money from a booster, and Clarett got free stuff.

 If you haven't grown cynical towards the sport, the program, or even school officials on this issue then you're too hung up on placing the blame on those in the newspaper articles, instead of the fact that there's assuredly others who aren't mentioned. 

Lucys Daddy is a Buckeye's picture

While you may be right in that there are shady practices going on, I find it hard to believe that those practices are not only known by higher ups (including JT and Gene Smith), but are actively encouraged.  These kids today have been catered to and fawned over from the time they strapped on their first helmet and showed any athletic talent at all.  They know what they can get from EVERY university in America and what they think they are "entitled" to.

All Tress and Smith need is the cloak of plausible denialbility.  As long as they are not actively pushing the Tat5 toward Rife, then they could both claim total ignorance of all shady shit goin' down.  I, however, have taken off my scarlet colored glasses and have seen the man behind the curtain. 

Division I College football is broken.  The whole system is rotten to the core.  The sooner the NCAA realizes that OSU is a part of the problem and not the whole problem, then we may get back to some form of actual amateur athletics.  Until then, I will continue to love and support tOSU, but I will never allow myself to get fooled again.

...And when we win the game, We'll buy a keg of booze....And we'll drink to old Ohio til we wobble in our shoes...

Bucksfan's picture

Couldn't have said it better myself as far as my own feelings are concerned.

I have no clue as to what the higher-ups know or what they turn a blind eye to.  But, in a way, that doesn't really matter.  First Smith tried to stick by his coach, and ultimately backed away from that sentiment.  Gee, who's the highest paid university president, embarrassed us all with his ridiculous comment that he's in Tressel's pocket.  So, whether they know or not is irrelevant.  They did not handle this whole thing in a thought-out, competent, HUMBLE way.  And in that light, it just makes them part of the bigger problem with Div 1 football.

Nappy's picture

Spot on.  Sarniak, Rife and now this photog are simply enablers.  Everyone involved knows what they are doing is wrong, especially the players, but when theres money to be made there will be people trying to exploit it.  You kinda gotta think these transactions take place on college campuses all across the country, but part of me wonders if it has anything to do with the location of the schools.  While theres certainly things to do in cities like Austin, Columbus and Gainesville, theres no question what the big ticket in town is and people want to be close to that. Although theres a lot more things to do in LA than watch a USC game, when the Reggie Bush stuff was going down it was easily the premier program in the country. You'll never remove the enablers from the equation, and when the "students" know what they are doing is wrong yet continue to do it, what's the fix?  Do you change a rule simply because people disagree with it or because it continues to be broken?  I dont know, but something has to change or we'll be having this conversation about some other program in the near future. 

Fan of bacon since 1981

741's picture

Just want to point out the obvious: anyone who is willing to pay money for a piece of memorabilia signed by Pryor (or whomever) while the kid still has eligibility, thus causing there to be a market for such goods, is also an enabler.

Nappy's picture

Very good point.  Couldnt help but cringe seeing the signed mini helmet on the ebay link yesterday. 

Fan of bacon since 1981

Irricoir's picture

You know what? I am sure there are additional measure Tressel could have taken but look at what he did do. Pryor was curbed from the media many times and the only outlet for him was through Twitter. Pryor was kept out of the Captain's spot. The media was outraged about this. Tressel knew what he was doing in doing that. It appeared that Tressel was working to mold him but everyone was throwing adulation at this guy and it was counterproductive to what Tressel was doing. The fault lies in him and his upbringing, he was not taught to be a real man. My father always defined that as "a man that was accountable for his actions and took care of what he was responsible for". That covers a broad spectrum but regardless, Pryor did not act within the realm of the rules. He still feigns accountability. He stated he was sorry after defeating Arkansas. Was that just the heat of the moment, his emotions getting to him? Then he say for the benefit of his teammates. I am glad for the sentiment but I question the sincerity. This was done to make his life easier. That was his number 1 priority. If intern it helps OSU that he done this then kudos. I still think he put himself first in the decision making area.

I don't always take names when I kick ass but when I do, they most often belong to a Wolverine.

TLB's picture

Spot on.  He was always thinking of himself first, team 2nd.

Denny's picture

'I am sure there are additional measure Tressel could have taken but look at what he did do. Pryor was curbed from the media many times and the only outlet for him was through Twitter. Pryor was kept out of the Captain's spot. The media was outraged about this. Tressel knew what he was doing in doing that. It appeared that Tressel was working to mold him but everyone was throwing adulation at this guy and it was counterproductive to what Tressel was doing.'

These are really good points, and honestly I don't think that it would have been beneficial for Tressel to do more, at least from the press-access angle. At a certain point you go from limiting players' involvement with the press, etc. and you approach stifling - and stifling young men does nothing to help them grow and learn.

In terms of off-field monitoring, none of us really know what the process was/is with Tressel and Pryor (and it probably varies player-to-player), but that's a pretty touchy issue. If you just start a huge ramp-up in the extent of your internal monitoring, you end up bordering on the paranoid and will probably scare recruits away (of all sorts). The way the NCAA is right now is pretty broken, and it has been for a while.

Taquitos.

Irricoir's picture

I'm skeered. I agree whole heartedly with you.

I don't always take names when I kick ass but when I do, they most often belong to a Wolverine.

German Buckeye's picture

Quiz: What will it take to get the national media off OSU's back? 

A) Deathpenalty or severe punishments

B) Poor couple of seasons (going 8-4 or such)

C) Keeping Fickle as headcoach (removing the interim label and not bringing in a "name" coach next season)

D) A and B

E) All the above

Bucksfan's picture

F) None of the above.  What would it take?  Ohio State eliminates all athletic scholarships, razes its historical 105,000 seat stadium and builds a small 20,000 capacity field, renounces its allegience to the Big Ten, changes its school colors, and over a period of years drops out of the top-10 in all-time wins.  This will reduce the product to student-athlete exhibition on a level that does not entice boosters, local businessmen, or the athletes themselves to try to shadily gain any sort of competitive advantage over those who also use corrupt means to assemble the best talent.

Only then will the media back off, both good coverage and bad.

m1ek's picture

Or, you know, pay attention to the fact that there's a school immediately to your east that has somehow avoided cheating all this time that, while not quite at your recent level, is at least competitive many years.

Nah. No way you can learn from anybody else other than the SEC. Forget I said anything.

BuckeyeSki's picture

I would rather go thru the rest of my life being known as a cheater, than to EVER be known as a Nittany Lion

 

O-H!

Banned from BlackShoeDiaries since 2008. Crime: Slander/Defamation of Character Judgement: Guilty

m1ek's picture

It's OK. You don't have to be known as one. Just willing to learn from one. Let me know.

SouthBayBuckeye's picture

Banned from ATO since June 3rd 2PMish PST

BuckeyeSki's picture

Other Known Alias:

Banned from BlackShoeDiaries since 2008. Crime: Slander/Defamation of Character Judgement: Guilty

Bucksfan's picture

My whole point is that just because you haven't been caught doesn't mean you aren't cheating.  But you're right, Penn State players usually don't get caught by the NCAA.  On the other hand, they do often get caught by local law enforcement.

http://www.google.com/search?q=penn+state+players+arrested&ie=utf-8&oe=u...

Bucks's picture

F) None of the above.

 

Unfortunately, nothing will remove this as a continous story until many seasons have passed & this is a distant memory. Even then, it will always be mentioned sporadically.

Just wish this school could have gotten on top of this & put everything out there together instead of this constant stream & contradiction. But noooooooooo, we had to be forced into taking a look at things, have a pep rally press conference that left most who saw it going WTH was that, say clearly it was an isolated incident, say JT is the coach regardless, claim the car issue was already looked at and cleared, pressure JT to resign, "Ooops, maybe the cars aren't ok", & oh by the way TP allegedly was making thousands upon thousands that we had no clue about ... but somehow had the wisdom to tell Talbott to get the hell away from the university.

 

smh.

buckeyedude's picture

If OSU gets the "Death Penalty," which I think is highly unlikely, the NCAA would lose mega Bucks bucks. And the only likely bowl games to sell out will be the Rose Bowl and the BCS NC.

 
 

AngelHeartsBuckeyes's picture

I am just so disgusted by this whole thing. Why Terrelle? Why couldn't you just wait your turn? Why Jim? Why was it so important to save this kid? JT you hedged the integrity of the program on your ability to save the obvious lost cause that was Terrelle Pryor. If it is true Jim Tressel had any ego this would be it. If only JT could have been who we all thought he was and done the right thing-like he has done countless times-we would all be lamenting what could have been last season if TP hadn't been suspended all/most/part of the season.

JT must have seen something in this kid to risk so much. He may have overestimated both their abilities to reform and be reformed but I hope for all our sakes in Buckeye Nation TP realizes a very hard lessen was just learned and then goes on to do great things. This is the only way we can benefit from the very high price we have, and will continue to pay. This is how redemption is achieved for all.

Oh, and I feel compelled to call out an epic fail on the part of the parents. You are automatically at a disadvantage in life when you have only one parent, so TP Sr wherever you are, you are the true villain here. BUT that in no way excuses his mother from not stepping up. It was her job to protect him from the Sarniaks of the world. I am a single mother of a teenage athlete and would be educated about the adults and their motives who were in my child's circle. The reality is that by the time he got to Tress it was just too late. Ask yourself this: What if TP had the benefit Ginn Sr. Like Troy? This is the real reason Troy was Tressels biggest character success because of the foundation which existed prior to him coming to tOSU. I know TP was under a microscope Troy didn't have until 06, but that's the point-where were the adults in this kid's life who weren't exploiting him in some way. As I write this I am beginning to see why Tressel tried so hard to protect him.

I never thought tOSU would have a more sad and cautionary tale than that of MoC. I hope this one also ends in redemption.

Buckeye born and bred. Buckeye til I'm dead.

Marshall's picture

+1000

Angel, I think this is my favorite post of the entire shooting match that started last December over this garbage.  You really drive it home.  If only TP had been a Tarblooder in high school.  But more than that.  If only every young man who is raised in a less-than-ideal situation at home has somebody like Ted Ginn Sr. or some other mentor, coach, leader to steer then towards a path of integrity and unselfishness.  Our nation would be SO MUCH better off for just that shift, as hard as it would be.  It's pretty clear at this point that guys like MoC and TP didn't have that kind of influence, whereas Troy Smith did.  Bottom line, and this doesn't excuse the arrogance, the selfishness, and the waste that is Terrelle Pryor:  boys really don't know how to raise themselves.  Parents matter.  Dads matter.  Show me parents who care enough about their kids to teach them discipline and integrity, and I'll show you a kid who will probably make it in this world.  I don't mean this to be a big sociology critique, but it's kind of inevitable.  Show me a kid who raised himself with parents who didn't engage, and I'll show you a kid who probably acts like they were raised by wolves.  The few like Troy Smith who beat the odds are part of what's great about college sports...what's great about Coach Tress, Ginn Sr., and the Glenville pipeline.

From what I read here, your teenage athlete is off to a good start for having a mom who is thinking about this stuff!

Marshall
2002 graduate of The Ohio State University
National champs.  Coincidence?

William's picture

Umm the Glenville Pipeline has given us quite a bit of trouble, especially during Tressel's career. Ozone had an article about the need to close the pipeline, which makes sense to me.

JozyMozy's picture

+1001

I agree with alot of what you just wrote. Not that I feel sorry for the Terelle Pryors/Mo Claretts of the world...more like it just bums me out to think about it too deeply. 

SouthBayBuckeye's picture

I'm thinking that all of the semi-well wishers from yesterday feel differently now. Our only hope at this point is that the investigation doesn't reveal misconducts of this magnitude outside of Pryor, and the other 4.

 

Don't let the door hit you on the way out, dumbass. (again: checks?? REALLY?!?!)

Banned from ATO since June 3rd 2PMish PST

Irricoir's picture

Careful....I rode his ass hard as far back as the "That school is too country" comments and the "This is as easy as High School" comments. All I got was angry fellow Buckeyes that questioned my loyalty. I havent seen you on here in a while. Good to see you back man.

I don't always take names when I kick ass but when I do, they most often belong to a Wolverine.

SouthBayBuckeye's picture

I think we're past the careful atsages. In fact, I know I was one that disagreed with you then. Maybe not on an "F you" level, but disagreed none the less. I am now firmly in the other camp. You can only make the excuse that he's young so many times until it's stupid. I'm 27, I could STILL use that esxcuse to not do things IF I LET MYSELF/HAD NO PRIDE.

 

Yeah, Laid low for a while. Besides, what was there to talk about? Thanks, good to be back.

Banned from ATO since June 3rd 2PMish PST

JozyMozy's picture

I'm 27, I could STILL use that esxcuse to not do things IF I LET MYSELF/HAD NO PRIDE.

therein lies the issue: we're not talking about you. We're talking about a young, unbelievably entitled athlete who, unfortunately, wasn't brought up in the exact same way you were. That doesn't excuse him, mind you, but posting a statement that amounts to "I would still do stupid young stuff if I hadn't developed more self control as I got older and learned to understand the reprecussions of my actions" makes way more of a point about you than it does Terelle Pryor. 

Not trying to start an arguement, just sharing with you how a member of the 'other side' thinks. 

SouthBayBuckeye's picture

I guess Ted Kazinsky's parents didn't bring him up the right way and teach him not to blow up buildings/cars/etc either. We shoudl probably let him go.  It doesn't matter what you're taught to do, at a certain point you have to be responsible for yourself. For most of us, legally, that's age 18. I know these examples are on two very opposite ends of the spectrum, but give me a break. We've made excuses for this guy for 3+ years now. It's time to stop.

 

 

Banned from ATO since June 3rd 2PMish PST

Irricoir's picture

And que in Denny for the age debate. Had this one with him a few days ago. Your thoughts Denny? I agree with you Southbay.

I don't always take names when I kick ass but when I do, they most often belong to a Wolverine.

Nappy's picture

I dont know if it's an age issue or more of a 'Im gonna do what I want and I dont care about the rules" issue.  People of all ages do stupid/illegal shit.  Some were raised right, some werent, but like Southbay said, at some point you have to take responsibility for your own actions.  The sad part is the ones who played by the rules will be the ones enduring the punishment.  I fell bad for guys like Tyler Moeller who has given so much to be where he is and he likely will never play in another bowl game.

 

Fan of bacon since 1981

buckeyedude's picture

I remember when he said he was going to "The University of Ohio State."

 
 

cal3713's picture

It seems to me that most posters are still in denial regarding the eventual penalties that are going to come from TP collecting this 20 - 40k in cash from signing memorobilia. 

As pointed out by a few above, this story really seals the deal as far as I'm concerned.  We're getting the LOIC violation, wins and titles are being scrubbed, multiple year post-season ban, and loss of 10 scholarships a year.  Maybe Desmond Howard wasn't so crazy when he suggested we could get banned from television coverage.  Prepare for the ax folks, because we're going down spectacularly.  Perhaps Fickell actually has a 4 year test-run, because the penalties are going to be so severe that we won't be able to attract any other top candidate.

SouthBayBuckeye's picture

Depends on how deep it went, and if they can PROVE that someone in the athletic dept knew about TP's "side business" at this point. There's still a lot more that we don't know.

 

Needless to say, my feeling of confidence that I had a few days ago is now gone.

Banned from ATO since June 3rd 2PMish PST

Irricoir's picture

Seriously, you think TP actually has the ability to keep his mouth shut about all of this? I mean wrong is wrong, I just hope it didn't happen. If it did, it will come out and TP will be the source.

I don't always take names when I kick ass but when I do, they most often belong to a Wolverine.

SouthBayBuckeye's picture

Really though, I think you're right.

 

BUT I wonder what he will say. Will it come out that every knew? Is he the only one? etc... that's the meat of the issue.

Banned from ATO since June 3rd 2PMish PST

Marshall's picture

Man, if only TP had gone to Michigan, the way everybody said he should have, to "orchestrate" the RickRod spread offense.  Things would have been so different had TP gotten the Joe Paterno treatment from tOSU instead of the Coach Tress treatment.

I have this vision of what things looked like in Terrelle Pryor's bedroom last night...actually probably before then, maybe after a hard day of stylin' in one of his six borrowed cars and signing autographs for cash.   At 2:32 or so in the morning, TP wakes up to a disturbance.  And there above his bead is the ghostly appearance of one Wayne Woodrow Hayes.  Wearing a sweaty Property of Ohio State t-shirt and the black Block O hat.  Behind him, one by one, the deceased of the 1942 national champions appear in the room as well, suited up in the uniform that Nike tried to replicate last fall against Michigan.  Woody is quiet at first, whispering.  "The Ohio State University is bigger than you.  The Ohio State University is about more than you.  The Ohio State University has treated you like gold, given you a golden opportunity even with your action-figure-attitude, and this is how you repay this fine school.  The gall, the selfishness, the conceit of you makes me want to throw you through a window.  You're not a Buckeye.  You never really were.  How do I know:  you sold those gold pants for a dumb@$$ tattoo.  No Buckeye does that."  Every one of those guys in the 1942 uniforms shake their heads as Woody speaks, arms crossed.  Disappointed and devastated.

It's a horrible deal, and I've felt awful about this since last December, swinging between anger and sadness.  And finally this:  Terrelle Pryor has unloaded the golden shower on Our Ohio State University for the last time.  Good freaking riddance.

Marshall
2002 graduate of The Ohio State University
National champs.  Coincidence?

buckeyedude's picture

I wonder what is to come of the other 4 of the "Tat-5?"

 
 

NW Buckeye's picture

They were all interviewed by the NCAA.  No new allegations have surfaced about them.  They have their 5 game suspensions, there is no reason to expect a total season ban.  So most likely they would not be admitted to the supplemental draft.  The best thing for them to do is to stay and do the time.  I have no inside info on this, only my observations from the myriad of reports out there.  Maybe Brutus would have more infor on this. 

Bellanca's picture

What I don't get is why Tressel is not responsible for not telling people like Clarett and Pryor to shut up, sit down, and get a moped.  Pryor is the man-child.  Tressel is the man in the room.  Seems a little odd to blame the child for the sins of omission, plus very deliberate commission, of the adult.  

We Play Tackle Football. 

 

Jason Priestas's picture

He's definitely at fault and should have policed his team. I don't think many are disputing that. I think it just comes down to Tressel having much more of a goodwill bank in Ohio than Pryor, so Pryor is taking more of the heat.

gwalther's picture

Good stuff.

Class of 2008