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Ex-Ohio State QB Pandel Savic Blames Terrelle Pryor, Not Jim Tressel

Former Ohio State quarterback Pandel Savic still supports Jim Tressel and blames Terrelle Pryor and a few others for bringing down the Buckeyes. Savic, who quarterbacked the Buckeyes to a Rose Bowl win in 1949, shared his thoughts with The Columbus Dispatch.

“First of all, we all love (former coach Jim) Tressel, and as far as I’m concerned, he got shafted because of the actions of (former quarterback Terrelle) Pryor, for one, and a few others,” Savic said. “I just don’t like the idea of him being let go. I think the world of the man, and he did a hell of a job for us.

I feel very badly that we treated Tressel in the manner that we’ve treated him. There’s no doubt the program has suffered indirectly, though I hope not too much with our recruiting. But everybody who has played there is always 100 percent behind the program, and that’s what we’re going to show.”

Savic’s attitude is reflective of the feelings of most Buckeyes fans. Just last month we told you about all the Ohio State fans who marched to Tressel’s house to support him. Nevermind that Tressel intentionally covered up for his players by lying to the school and NCAA. Nevermind that he knowingly cheated, these people still believe he did the right thing and that he was a respectable and honorable man. Simply put, they’re still smitten with the false identity created by the vest.

I don’t have a problem with Buckeyes fans supporting their program through good times and bad. I think it’s loyal of them to stand by Tressel for all the winning he accomplished at Ohio State. But if you’re going to be proud of what he accomplished, you have to support what the players under him did. Remember, Ohio State didn’t get busted just because a few players got tattoos and weed in exchange for memorabilia; they got hammered because their coach lied about it. That makes two cheaters, not one. Fans and ex-players shouldn’t single out the players when Tressel is at least equally as culpable.

Hey Terrelle Pryor, Sweet Deck Shoes on Jon Gruden’s Quarterback Camp

ESPN finally aired its hyped special edition of Gruden Camp with Terrelle Pryor, the former Ohio State quarterback who’s entering the NFL supplemental draft. We have many reasons to believe Pryor will never be an NFL quarterback in any capacity, but we won’t attack that matter at this time. Instead, we’ll concentrate our focus on the awful show to which we were subjected.

We found the hour-long show between Gruden and Pryor to be a bigger waste of time than LeBron’s Decision. Not only did Jon Gruden repeatedly ask some of the dumbest questions, but he also was far too complimentary of Pryor. Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk does a much better job delineating that point.

They had Pryor in there for a camp but didn’t ask about any Ohio State controversies. Terrelle Pryor was wearing a long-sleeve shirt to cover his controversial tattoos. He said all the right things but didn’t seem to truly mean any of them. He sported the most casual footwear you could imagine — deck shoes as if he were getting ready to board The Flying Wasp.

Honestly, our collective time would have much better spent had Pryor stepped up in the meeting and announced:

“It’s easy to grin when your ship comes in, and you’ve got the stock market beat. But the man worthwhile, is the man who can smile, when his shorts are too tight in the seat.”

The whole thing was a total fluff piece and Pryor’s footwear reflects the embarrassingly casual nature of the show. In the future, let’s stick to hardcore football and don’t be afraid to show us what you’re really like as a coach, Chucky. As for you, Terrelle, maybe some athletic footwear might be more appropriate next time.

Terrelle Pryor Reportedly Received Thousands for Autographed Merchandise

Terrelle Pryor announced through his attorney Tuesday that he is leaving Ohio State to enter the NFL’s supplemental draft. It’s a decision most people could have seen coming when Pryor was spotted driving in a relatively flashy car, with a reported suspended license, while his school was under investigation. If that’s not the epitome of “I don’t give a f***” then I don’t know what is.

Though Pryor is leaving school to pursue professional football, it’s not as if he’s leaving his problems behind; he’s now facing accusations that he was paid thousands of dollars to autograph memorabilia.

A former friend of Pryor tells Outside the Lines that the quarterback made thousands of dollars signing memorabilia for an Ohio man. “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 told ESPN.

Sports by Brooks adds to the report, saying Pryor deposited multiple checks from Dennis Talbott, the Ohio man/memorabilia dealer in question. Brooks points us to Talbott’s eBay seller’s account which is called “infickellwetrust,” which is a reference to Ohio State’s new football coach. Talbott operates a store on eBay called “ntresselwetrust” and it has hundreds of autographed items available — most of which are from athletes in Ohio.

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Sports Illustrated Article on Ohio State Football Exposes Jim Tressel, Program

Jim Tressel resigned from his job as head football coach at Ohio State Monday morning, knowing fully well neither he nor the university would be able to face the media after the contents of Sports Illustrated’s report were revealed. SI had reporters George Dohrmann and David Epstein collaborate on a special that digs deeper into the existing issues we knew about Ohio State (read the entire report here).

The Buckeyes were already punished for having six players trade memorabilia for tattoos — a violation of NCAA rules. On top of that, the hookups players had with a car dealership had come under scrutiny based on Terrelle Pryor’s driving record. The words of former Ohio State basketball player Mark Titus corroborated the reports that Buckeyes football players were getting hookups at a dealership (also a violation of NCAA rules). Now we’re left with a more in-depth look at the blatant rule-breaking going on at Ohio State.

In short, SI refutes in such indisputable detail the notion that the merchandise-for-tattoo trades were limited to a select few members of the football team. That defeats Ohio State’s first defense argument where they tried to pin the actions on an isolated few members of the team. Additionally, they expose Jim Tressel as a fraud. Tressel built a reputation as a man of integrity over his ten years at Ohio State. He was someone who preached religious values and respect. Yet this is the same coach who lied to the NCAA and lied to school investigators.

On top of that, SI mentions the story of Tressel lying to a school investigator when he was at Youngstown State, something Sports by Brooks reported last month. The SI report also says Tressel fixed raffle drawings while he was an assistant coach at Ohio State in the ’80s so that prizes at a football camp went to elite recruits.

Not only does SI’s report show us that trading memorabilia for tattoo (and weed) was prevalent throughout the football program, it also destroys Jim Tressel’s individual character by showing how hypocritical he was. Here are some more of the juicy details they uncover.

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Terrelle Pryor Tattoo and Loaner Car Investigations Loom Over Sugar Bowl

The NCAA cemented its status as a shameful organization with its recent handling of Ohio State. The Buckeyes had a handful of players investigated for accepting improper benefits in the form of tattoos they received in exchange for autographs and other memorabilia. Tattoos are expensive and often cost hundreds, if not thousands of dollars, making it a wonder how so many of the Buckeyes could afford all the ink. Then it was revealed that several players sold Big Ten Championship Rings and other memorabilia, a similar charge that resulted in a four-game suspension this season for Georgia wide receiver A.J. Green.

And what happened to the Ohio State players Terrelle Pryor, Dan Herron, Devier Posey, Mike Adams, and Solomon Thomas? They were suspended the first five games of next season, and not at all for those who elect to enter the NFL draft. Somehow the players were allowed to play in the Sugar Bowl under the grounds of the school not educating the players properly on the rules. Right, as if they didn’t know pawning off their goods was illegal.

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Terrelle Pryor, Ohio State Players Not Suspended for Sugar Bowl?

The hypocrisy of the NCAA is at it again. Not much longer after they inexplicably allowed Cam Newton to remain eligible at Auburn though his father shopped him to at least one school, the NCAA suspended five Ohio State players for the first five games of the 2011 season.

The players were suspended for receiving some benefits ordinary people wouldn’t have (free tattoos!), and for selling some of their swag — game jerseys and the 2008 Big Ten championship ring. That makes complete sense given the NCAA’s stance on preserving amateurism and preventing players from using their status to gain monetary advantages. But what doesn’t make sense is the punishment.

The NCAA deemed the actions of Terrelle Pryor, Boom Herron, DeVier Posey, Mike Adams, and Solomon Thomas bad enough to suspend them the first five games of next season (standard suspension is four, but they got an additional game for not immediately revealing their violations). If their actions were bad enough to result in a five-game suspension, then how can the NCAA justify allowing the players to be active for the Sugar Bowl? There is no answer.

The NCAA says the players were not suspended for the bowl game because they believe the players were not properly educated about violations prior to committing their actions. Who actually buys that defense? Oh I’m sorry officer, I didn’t know the speed limit in the neighborhood was only 25mph, not 60. Like players don’t know it’s against NCAA rules to sell their jerseys and rings?

The NCAA’s reasoning on the matter is inexplicable. They’ve now ruled on two high-profile cases by heavily weighting the “knowledge of the players” factor and they’re rewarding perceived innocence. It’s odd decisions like this one that leaves critics wondering how the NCAA can seemingly dole out penalties on an arbitrary “this is what we feel like doing” basis.

Ohio State’s Message to Terrelle Pryor: It’s OK to Punt

Minnesota Ohio St FootballThe Buckeyes struggled against Minnesota in the first half of their win Saturday before eventually going on to blowout the Golden Gophers. They led just 7-0 at halftime, the score coming on a 62-yard touchdown pass from Terrelle Pryor to DeVier Posey. As Ohio State was moving in for a score just before halftime, Pryor threw a pass into about triple coverage that was intercepted in the end zone. Rather than being up 10-0 or potentially 14-0 at halftime, the game remained at 7-0. The pass prompted an anecdote from one of the ESPN announcers who said the Ohio State coaching staff posted a sign in the team’s facility that said “It’s OK to punt.” Per the announcers, Pryor took offense to the sign and that’s when coach Jim Tressel had to put it context — it’s OK to punt instead of committing a turnover — something Pryor did four times in a loss to Purdue last weekend.

The wheels really started to fall off the bus for the Buckeyes following that embarrassing loss and most people felt Pryor had regressed. Also hurting matters was when Pryor’s high school coach chimed in to say that the QB wasn’t being used properly by Ohio State and that Terrelle should have gone to Michigan. I say that Ohio State’s a fine place for him to be, he’s just going through growing pains on a massive stage. Pryor needs to learn how to look off receivers and avoid locking in on his targets, and that turnovers are killer. So far he’s responded with a strong game in the air and on the ground against Minnesota. Pryor could easily run the zone read all day but if he wants to take his game to the next level, these are the things he has to do and learn, as pride-swallowing as it may be.