NFL Upholds Suspension of Oakland Raiders' Terrelle Pryor
John Doublin – Sep 30, 2011The NFL announced today that the five-game suspension of Oakland Raiders' supplemental draft pick, Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor will stand. NFL commissioner Rodger Goodell stated that he made his decision to "uphold the integrity of the NFL supplemental draft."
Was this the right decision? How does this affect the Raiders? What does it mean for Pryor's future? All legitimate questions. The NFLPA, (Players' union) can still file an appeal or send it to arbitration, but for now Pryor will not be eligible to play until week six against the Cleveland Browns.
To decide whether or not this was a good decision will boil down to which side of the argument you believe.
The opponents of the suspension will say that the NFL has no right or reason to discipline players for their actions in collegeâ€”the NFL is not an extension of the NCAA. Those who disagree with it will also state that the NCAA getting rich on the backs of the players is wrong and that the players should have the right to earn money based upon their college fame.
The other side of the argumentâ€”the one I subscribe toâ€”is that setting the precedent of not punishing players for their transgressions in college will open the door for every college athlete to feel free to violate the rules, (regardless if those rules are unfair or ridiculous, they're still the rules) because they know they can simply enter the NFL supplemental draft to avoid the consequences.
Don't get me wrong, I do believe that college athletes should receive monetary compensation for playing college sports. The fact that the NCAA gets outlandishly wealthy based on the actions and hard work of the players, but refuses to compensate them is borderline immoral to me. I don't think a free, $100,000 education is enough, (that equates to only $25k p/year based upon a four-year college career). Many of these players are from poor families and would be far less tempted to sell their autographs or likenesses if they had a "legal" form of income.
That aside, I feel the NFL had to uphold this suspension to preserve the integrity of the league. Had they not done so, you and I both know that there would be amoral people approaching the elite sophomore players saying, "Here man, take this cash.Â If you get caught, we'll just enter you into the draft and you'll be rich."Â Knowing there is no consequence will only further perpetuate the problem of slimy agents preying on young prospects.
As for the immediate impact this will have on the Raiders and Pryor himself, it's almost non-existent. Truth-be-told, Pryor isn't ready to play in the NFL anyway. Had this suspension been over-turned, Jason Campbell would still be the starter and Pryor would still be carrying a clipboard. He may have found himself playing in limited action in the "Wildcat" formation and as a wide receiver, but he wouldn't be playing at quarterbackâ€”he simply has too much to learn.
He may, someday, be the starting quarterback in Oakland, but that time is a long way off.
In the long-term, Pryor will only benefit from sitting in on the quarterbacks and offensive meetings and picking the brain of Campbellâ€”two more games of this is not the end of the world, or his career. Someday, Pryor will be ready to play at this level. It may be at quarterback, it may not. Whatever the case, two more games won't define his long-term prospects, nor will it greatly effect the fate of the Raiders in 2011.
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