Pryor watched his school compete against Cal on Saturday night, but he had to miss the second half of the game because of Oakland Raiders team meetings. The Cal-Ohio State game presented a rare opportunity for him to watch the Buckeyes in person (the Raiders had a home game last weekend), but he would not have been able to attend the game on Ohio State’s sidelines the way most alumnus do. Why? Because Pryor was banned from being associated with the football program for five years because of his role in the tattoo/benefits scandal.
“That’s my school, but they don’t really accept me,” Pryor told The Columbus Dispatch on Sunday. “I’ve moved on to what I have now, and that’s just football.”
“Those guys kicked me out of school after all those things I did for them,” Pryor said.
Ohio State may have banned Pryor from being connected with the program, but he is still a prominent figure in the area. Why else would The Dispatch send a reporter to Oakland to cover his second start of the NFL season?
Pryor and a number of other Buckeyes screwed up by accepting benefits such as cars, tattoos and money for autographs. But he is right — he did do a lot for the school. Pryor entered Ohio State as one of the most-hyped recruits in the country. He started at quarterback for three seasons, leading the team to a 33-6 record and three BCS bowl games. Because of the scandal, he had to leave school and declare himself for the NFL’s supplemental draft, where the Raiders selected him in the third round.
The truth is Pryor, Reggie Bush, and Johnny Manziel are not doing anything different from many other college football stars. The only difference is a few of them got caught while most players are not. It’s just easier for a program to cut off a few players fin order to avoid big trouble. It really stinks that schools disassociate themselves from athletes they once revered, all because the athlete got caught accepting benefits everyone in the program was accepting. Hopefully Ohio State ends the ban soon, because it is pretty ridiculous to not recognize Pryor and everything he did for the program.
H/T College Spun