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The Bad News Bucks

June 8, 2011

The hits keep coming for the Ohio State football program.  In a move that surprised no one, embattled QB Terrelle Pryor has left the team, in the midst of more damning details of improper benefits.

The latest scandal has Pryor connected to a memorabilia scheme, orchestrated by Columbus businessman, Dennis Talbott.  Pryor provided autographed helmets and other gear for Talbott, and received a reported 5% of the profits, which netted him anywhere from $20,000 to $40,000.  This “walking around money” allowed T-Peezy to afford a semi-NFL lifestyle in college, as his affinity for Gucci clothing and accessories was confirmed by a former friend in an ESPN interview. 

With this latest development, both the Buckeyes’ season and Pryor’s career are up in the air.  Senior Joe Bauserman looks to be the leading candidate to replace Pryor, but don’t be surprised if  freshmen sensation Braxton Miller is the signal-caller come mid-October.  Pryor is looking to apply for July’s  NFL supplemental draft, while a stint in the CFL or UFL isn’t out of the question, especially if the NFL lockout continues to drag on.

What position he will play is a question that will need answered.  As of now, Pryor doesn’t have the polished QB skills to thrive in the pros.  I believe his best chance is to mold himself into a Brad Smith-type player, just without the kick returns.  Maybe a little Wildcat here, a little wideout there, whatever it takes to make an NFL squad. 

Where does all of this leave the OSU program?  With Coach Tressel and Pryor both officially gone, someone is going to have to pay when the NCAA finishes its investigation.  As we’ve seen with USC, with no one left to shoulder the blame, the remaining coaches and players will have to take the punishment, most likely in the form of bowl bans and reduced scholarship limits.  

With numerous rumblings of yet another brewing football scandal that makes Ohio State’s look tame in comparison, the start of fall camp can’t get here fast enough.  For many teams, the hits on the field won’t hurt as bad as the ones off.

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