Ohio State cuts ties with Pryor

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Last updated: 07/26/2011 11:59 PM

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Football
Ohio State Officially Cuts Ties with Pryor
By Brandon Castel

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State officially cut ties with their former star quarterback Tuesday as they banned Terrelle Pryor from having any contact with the school's athletic program for the next five years.

In a letter written by Athletic Director Gene Smith Tuesday, Ohio State reported that Pryor would not have been eligible to participate in any games during the 2011 season after refusing to cooperate with the NCAA investigation.

“I was disappointed to learn from your attorney that, as of June 7, 2011, you have chosen not to interview with representatives of the NCAA and The Ohio State University,” Smith wrote in his letter to Pryor.

“In light of that decision, the University must declare you ineligible for intercollegiate competition because you have failed to cooperate with the University in violation of NCAA Bylaw 10.1.”

The ruling explains why Pryor decided to leave Columbus last month, forgoing his senior season at Ohio State for a chance at the NFL. In a press conference with agent Drew Rosenhaus, Pryor declared himself eligible for the league’s supplemental draft, but that didn’t mean he was qualified.

Terrelle Pryor
Photo by Jim Davidson
Terrelle Pryor

In order to participate in the NFL supplemental draft, Pryor had to show that his eligibility status had changed since the regular entry draft took place back in April. That is why Pryor’s lawyer, Larry James requested the letter from Ohio State declaring his ineligibility for the 2011 season.

The 6-6, 230-pound junior was already slated to miss the first five games of the season for his role in the sale of OSU memorabilia to Edward Rife. Although the game has now been vacated, Pryor led the Buckeyes to a victory over Arkansas in the Sugar Bowl back in January.

Now he will be “completely disassociated” from the program where he starred for three seasons. Smith’s letter effectively eliminates any technical issues that would have prevented Pryor from being eligible for the supplement draft, which should take place in the next few weeks now that the NFL lockout is over.

It also effectively bars him from having any contact with the OSU athletic department. That includes free tickets to games or being on the sideline at Ohio Stadium for primetime matchups like the one with Wisconsin on Oct. 29.

It also precludes Pryor from working out at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center for the next five years, but would not prevent him from continuing his education at Ohio State.

Pryor was the starting quarterback for the Buckeyes from 2008−2010, winning 31 of his 35 starts under center. He led Ohio State to three straight wins over Michigan, three BCS bowl appearances and back-to-back bowl victories, although a large chunk of that has been erased with the vacation of last season.

The 21-year old faced further investigation from the NCAA, but now he avoids ever being forced to speak with anyone about the violations committed at Ohio State.

Complete letter from Smith to Pryor

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