Terrell Pryor Gives Insight Into the Cold Business of the NCAA
Jim Trotter, one of my favorite writers strikes again. His pieces typically resonate with me very strongly and his latest article on Oakland Raiders’ Terrell Pryor is no different. Pryor was punished by the NCAA for selling his own Ohio State items and was vilified after the infraction was discovered including 5 game suspension in the NFL which I still think was extremely unfair and insulting and hypocritical. Pryor explains to Trotter why he did what he did and how confused he was about why he was being treated so harshly after making a mistake as a freshman.
Then he goes on to describe why he sold his pants:
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, and the [landlord] was so nice because he was an Ohio State fan. He gave her the benefit of the doubt and she said, ‘My son will pay you back sometime if you just let me pay you back during my work sessions.’ She ended up losing her job, and she and my sister lived there. 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 didn’t have any sympathy for me. It’s not like I went there and bought new Jordans. It’s documented. Whenever I write my book the proof will be in there, the receipt that the money I gave my mother was to pay the electric and heat bill. The truth is going to come out one day when the time is right. I don’t think I deserved [being punished] in that way, because of the reason I was doing it. I felt like I was doing God’s work in a way, and I was getting driven into the ground.
Yesterday I tried to watch Buzz Bissinger and Malcolm Gladwell argue that college football should be banned. I lasted about 15 minutes. My mind kept wondering off to what REALLY bothers me about college football and that is the student-athlete thing that makes the adults involved able to treat the kids any way they want to and hold them to different standards. That will never ever sit right with me. And that paternalism players are groomed to accept in college sports extends right into professional sports where you have Commissioners like David Stern and Roger Goodell walking around like Daddy Warbucks…or worse, Daddy Grace!