In his final game for Ohio State, Terrelle Pryor led the Buckeyes
to a Sugar Bowl victory. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Former Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor, now the starter for the NFL's Oakland Raiders, left the Buckeyes program prematurely under a cloud of NCAA troubles in 2011. Now, as the university fails to embrace its former star, it seems Pryor is in no hurry to embrace Ohio State, either.
After notching his first victory as an NFL starter in Sunday's 19-9 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Pryor told the Columbus Dispatch that he has no real relationship with Ohio State at the moment.
“That’s my school, but they don’t really accept me,” Pryor said. “I’ve moved on to what I have now, and that’s just football.”
The quarterback's college career ended earlier than expected soon after the he was suspended for the first five games of his final season in 2011 for accepting improper benefits from a tattoo parlor, allegations that later caused then-coach Jim Tressel his job. Pryor opted to forgo his senior season and enter the NFL's supplemental draft that year, where he was selected in the third round by the Raiders. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell suspended Pryor for the first five games of his pro career for what he called “deliberate manipulation of our eligibility rules.”
On the field, Pryor's career with the Buckeyes was prolific. He went 31-4 as a starter and led the school to three Big Ten titles, including three victories over Michigan. On Saturday, Pryor watched the first half of Ohio State's win over Cal, and he was asked about his former school after the Raiders' win Sunday.
Even if he had time to attend the OSU-Cal game, Pryor couldn’t have accepted free tickets from OSU players, coaches or alumni. That stipulation is part of a five-year ban the university placed on him in 2011 stemming from the scandal.
“Those guys kicked me out of school after all those things I did for them,” Pryor said.
The indignation in his voice spurred a Raiders official to step in and cut off a question from a Dispatch reporter.
“Guy, we’re not going to talk about Ohio State right now,” said the Oakland official, sending Pryor out the locker-room door.