Jim Tressel raised some eyebrows earlier this week when he revealed the only reason the five Ohio State players suspended for the first five games of the 2011 season will be permitted to play in the Sugar Bowl is because they all pledged to not bail for the NFL draft.
As noted by us and many, many others, there’s literally nothing to prevent any of the Buckeye Five — quarterback Terrelle Pryor, offensive lineman Mike Adams, running back Boom Herron, wide receiver DeVier Posey and defensive lineman Solomon Thomas — from reneging on their promise and bolting for the NFL draft following the Arkansas game.
Speaking to the media Saturday morning, Pryor said he will absolutely keep his word and return to the Buckeyes for his senior season. Pryor, though, was merely speaking for himself, and strongly suggested that unnamed ones amongst the remaining four players, because of their personal situations, may sing a different tune upon the conclusion of the bowl game.
“It’s important to keep your word, but at the same time, some guys have different situations, and I think some guys pledged and some guys, you know, we were just basically saying sorry,” Pryor said. “I know other guys are in different situations. I can’t really think that if they would choose to leave they were breaking the pledge, because I don’t say automatically. I think some guys have different situations.
“Speaking for myself, once you pledge something, I think you got to keep your word.”
Again, and other than tainting your character by going back on a promise, there would be zero repercussions for any of the suspended juniors who decided to make his way to the NFL draft.
There’s also the matter repaying the impermissible benefits the players received. Each of the five will have to not only serve the five-game suspension, but they will also be forced to pay anywhere between $1,000 and $2,500 — each — to a charity before they can be reinstated. Supposedly, their respective family’s financial situation prompted them to sell rings and other memorabilia; how the hell are they going to be able to come up with the money to repay what they had previously pocketed?
I guess they could always sell their Sugar Bowl rings if the Buckeyes win. Or have a member of their family sell it without their knowledge.