NFL rules Terrelle Pryor eligible for Monday’s supplemental draft; suspends former Ohio State quarterback five games


Terrelle Pryor was ruled eligible for the NFL’s supplemental draft. (Mark J. Terrill/AP)

(Did the NFL make the right decision to carry over Pryor’s suspension? Vote here.)

While pundits pondered whether or not the NFL would allow Pryor — who was declared ineligible for the first five games of the upcoming NCAA season for allegedly accepting improper benefits — to enter the league’s supplemental draft Pryor’s camp remained confident the former Buckeye would be eligible.

The more shocking announcement from the NFL on Thursday is that Pryor’s five-game suspension will carry over to the NFL this season. So whichever team drafts him — and you have to figure someone will — won’t be able to use him for the first five weeks of the schedule. More importantly, Pryor will not be able to practice or receive pay during that five-week period.

NFL Supplemental Drafts has been now reschedued for Monday and Terrelle Pryor is eleigibleless than a minute ago via TweetDeck Favorite Retweet ReplyChris Mortensen
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Here’s the kicker: Pryor will be ineligble first 5 games...less than a minute ago via TweetDeck Favorite Retweet ReplyChris Mortensen
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Clearly, NFL decided Pryor eligible for Monday’s draft but making him sit out first 5 games/practice equal to deal he had cut w OSU last Decless than a minute ago via TweetDeck Favorite Retweet ReplyChris Mortensen
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In the still-fresh wake of the emerging decade-long scandal at the University of Miami (as reported by Yahoo! Sports), the question that now arises is should the NFL be able to punish its players for transgressions committed at the collegiate level?

Here’s the statement from the NFL:

“Pryor made decisions that undermine the integrity of the eligibility rules for the NFL Draft. Those actions included failing to cooperate with the NCAA and hiring an agent in violation of NCAA rules, which resulted in Ohio State declaring him ineligible to continue playing college football.

“Pryor then applied to enter the NFL after the regular draft. Pryor had accepted at the end of the 2010 college football season a suspension for the first five games of the 2011 season for violating NCAA rules. Pryor will be ineligible to practice prior to or play in the first five games of the NFL regular season after he signs.”

If so, why not retroactively suspend or fine Reggie Bush for dragging USC into NCAA purgatory? How about the players responsible for the ongoing disaster at North Carolina? Or Bengals rookie WR A.J. Green selling a game-worn jersey? And what about the laundry list of alleged player participants in the scandal at “The U”?

And while we’re at it, why should Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll be permitted to leave a wake of NCAA violations behind at USC and be granted a clean slate in the NFL?

Whether or not you agree with the NFL’s decision to transfer Pryor’s five-game suspension to his pro career, it’s hard to deny the NFL is opening a giant can of worms with its decision.

Here’s what Pryor’s attorney, David Cornwell, had to say:

“Personally, I hope this causes everyone to pause and conclude that we must challenge the NCAA on its 'amateurism' rules. Terrelle is going to the NFL because the NCAA mandated that he feed their families, but he could not feed his own."

Is this the NFL’s first step toward assisting its feeder league in policing rules that seemingly every college football program continues to disregard?

The five other players eligible for Monday’s draft: CB Torez Jones (Western Carolina), RB Caleb King (Georgia), DE Keenan Mace (Lindenwood University), DE Michael McAdoo (North Carolina), S Tracy Wilson (Northern Illinois).

Matt Brooks is the high school sports editor for The Washington Post. He's an Arlington native and longtime District resident and was previously a high school sports reporter, editor for several blogs and Early Lead contributor with The Post.

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