Last month it was announced that the Cleveland Browns would conduct a preseason scrimmage at the football home of the Ohio State Buckeyes in August — one that’s a sell out, incidentally. Just yesterday, the NFL club announced they had acquired former OSU quarterback (turned wide receiver) Terrelle Pryor off waivers.
The convergence of those two events, thanks to the past, has created an interesting potential conundrum.
Back in July of 2011, OSU announced it had banned Pryor from the football program for a period of five years. The ban stemmed from Pryor’s role in “Tat-gate,” which led directly to sanctions on the football program as well as Jim Tressel‘s “resignation” as head coach two months before the ban was announced.
Which brings us to the current issue at hand: as a member of the Browns, and with a year left on his ban, will Pryor be permitted to step foot in Ohio Stadium and play in the scrimmage? According to OSU athletic director Gene Smith, that appears to be the case. Probably. Possibly.
“It is our understanding that there is no issue [with Pryor taking part with the Browns] but we are clarifying,” Smith told the Columbus Dispatch in a text message. “The intent we believe was [to keep him from] working out [in OSU facilities], not performing through a rental arrangement with an NFL team.”
Listen, if Tressel, whose actions in the case that brought sanctions on the program were substantially more shady and seedy and damaging than anything any of the players involved did, can be inducted into the school’s Athletics Hall of Fame, there’s no reason that Pryor can’t return to the campus to perform his job. Not only that, there shouldn’t be any question that he should be permitted.
UPDATED 11:01 a.m. ET: And here you have it.