Well of course he does. What else would you expect from the soap opera that is the current state of the Ohio State football program?
Speaking to ESPN.com‘s Joe Schad Wednesday regarding whether or not Terrelle Pryor will make himself available for the NFL’s supplemental draft, Willie Burns, Pryor’s godfather, stated that the quarterback “says ‘no’ one minute and then he may go the next.” Friday, the Associated Press reported that Burns said he feels Pryor will spurn a chance at the supplemental draft and stay in Columbus.
In a talk with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Burns’ attempted to debunk the AP’s account of their conversation.
Willie Burns, Pryor’s godfather and legal guardian when he attended Jeannette High School, disputed an Associated Press report in which he was quoted as saying he expects Pryor to play at Ohio State this fall. Burns told the Tribune-Review that he’s not sure what Pryor will do.
“He’s his own man,” Burns said. “If he quits and goes pro, it’s on him. If he stays, it’s on him.”
Well, there you have it. Pryor is staying. Or he’s going. One of the two.
As for when an actual and “official” decision on the part of Pryor will come down, Pryor’s attorney told the Post-Gazette that, regardless of what it is, it has to happen sooner rather than later. The attorney, Larry James, said that while it’s still premature to answer the question of Pryor’s long-term plans right now, he’s feeling good that his client will be vindicated in the NCAA investigation into vehicles he’s owned and that, once that’s settled, they’ll decide what his next football step will be.
“We’re in a pretty good place on the issue of the cars,” he said. “We’ll face the issue of the memorabilia at the appropriate time. We will sit down with Terrelle and go through all the options.”
What’s unclear is this “memorabilia” of which James speaks. Pryor has already been suspended for the first five games of the 2011 season for trading memorabilia and/or autographs for money and discounts on tattoos; are there additional issues concerning memorabilia that the NCAA is probing as well? Based on what could’ve been a slip of the tongue by the attorney, that may very well be the case.
Even if Pryor is cleared by the NCAA in this latest investigation, there would still be the question of whether Pryor would even want to return to Columbus given the circumstances. Pryor, as well as his mother, has been vilified by fans and media alike since news of Jim Tressel‘s resignation broke — why that’s the case is unclear; it was Tressel, not Pryor, who lied and cost himself a job — and it could be tough for a 21-year-old to return to that kind of frenzied circus.
“Can you imagine, given how the atmosphere has been, how he will be received when he walks into that stadium?” he said. “The young man is distraught. (His mother, Toni) is very distraught. Terrelle made mistakes, but his mother doesn’t deserve anything like she’s been subjected to.”
OSU’s summer camp will begin in roughly two months, and the NFL’s supplemental draft, if there is one, will occur a couple of weeks before that, so it appears that Pryor will have to make a decision one way or the other at some point this month.