Monday, July 25, 2011

NFL


Terrelle Pryor's pending application for a supplemental draft remains under review by the NFL and the primary determination likely will be made on whether the NCAA certifies he would not have been eligible for 2011 Ohio Stategames because of rules violations, sources have told ESPN senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen.

But Pryor does have a unique case that should give him serious consideration for the supplemental draft because, according to his attorney, Ohio State officials have agreed a completed investigation that occurred past the Jan. 15 underclassmen deadline determined he would not have been eligible for any games for the 2011 season.

Pryor's signing with an agent, Drew Rosenhaus, after the Jan. 15 NFL deadline for underclassmen to declare for the April draft is not considered a factor relating to his NCAA eligibility status under normal NFL protocol.
Originally, Pryor signed an agreement with the university and coach Jim Tressel that stated he would return for the 2011 season but would be required to miss the Buckeyes' first five games. That agreement reportedly allowed Pryor to play in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 4 against Arkansas. Legally, it was a non-binding document so Pryor could have declared for the April draft before the Jan. 15 NFL deadline.

The confusion that ensued and further findings that questioned Pryor's eligibility for the entire 2011 Ohio State season likely will be clarified by the NCAA, allowing the NFL to make a decision in the near future.

If the NCAA presents a case that Pryor could have remained eligible for any portion of the season, his application could be denied by the NFL.


According to scenarios based a strict league policy laid out by NFL spokesman Greg Aiello in an email to FoxSports.com, Pryor doesn't qualify.
In citing examples of players who were eligible for a supplemental draft, Aiello presented examples that, according to FoxSports.com, included "unforeseen" changes such as being banned from their college programs, made ineligible academically or players who had graduated before deciding to leave school.
"If there are no players eligible for a supplemental draft, there is no supplemental draft," Aiello said in the email. "It is for players whose circumstances have changed in an unforeseen way after the regular (college) draft. It is not a mechanism for simply bypassing the regular (draft)."
Because the NFL's supplemental draft is normally held 10 days before the start of training camps, it's uncertain how the lockout will affect the process. The league's owners and players have agreed on the major points for a new collective-bargaining agreement, sources have told ESPN, and training camps could begin as early as Wednesday.
Forty players have been selected in the NFL supplemental draft since its inception in 1977. Teams submit picks to the league and if their bid is the highest, they receive the player but lose the corresponding draft pick in the next draft.
Former Georgia tailback Caleb King said earlier this month, soon after being declared academically ineligible for the 2011 season, that he would also like to enter the supplemental draft.
In a news conference in June to announce he was leaving, Pryor apologized to the Buckeyes, to his former teammates and to the now-departed Tressel for his role in the pay-for-memorabilia scandal that led to the former coach's exit.
Pryor had already been suspended by Ohio State and the NCAA for the first five games of what would have been his senior season this fall for accepting improper benefits, such as cash and discounted tattoos. The scandal led to Tressel's forced resignation. Tressel acknowledged knowing his players were taking improper benefits but covered it up for more than nine months before Ohio State officials discovered his knowledge.
Pryor is Ohio State's all-time leading rusher among quarterbacks, with 2,164 yards. He also threw 57 touchdown passes, tying a school record.
The NCAA said in a letter to Ohio State last week that as a result of the governing body's investigation that it wouldn't recommend the school be hit with the most serious charges of failing to properly monitor its football program or any lack of institutional control when if faces the NCAA's committee on infractions on Aug. 12.

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