Goodell upholds suspension, lectures Pryor

Sept. 30, 2011 at 9:47 PM
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NEW YORK, Sept. 30 (UPI) -- NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced Friday the five-game suspension of Oakland quarterback Terrelle Pryor had been upheld.

In a stern condemnation of Pryor's actions that led to his leaving Ohio State this year, Goodell refused to grant the quarterback's appeal of his suspension.

Pryor was selected by Oakland in the third-round of the NFL's supplemental draft. The quarterback was originally suspended for five games by the NCAA for his part in rules violations that led to the dismissal of Coach Jim Tressel.

Rather than serve that suspension, Pryor made himself eligible for the supplemental draft. Goodell then ruled that the NCAA suspension would be carried over to the NFL.

"Based on Mr. Pryor's actions, I believe it is a fair conclusion that he intentionally took steps to ensure that he would be declared ineligible for further college play and would be able to enter the NFL via the supplemental draft," Goodell said. "Taken as a whole, I found that this conduct was tantamount to a deliberate manipulation of our eligibility rules in a way that distorts the underlying principles and calls into question the integrity of those rules.

"Mr. Pryor, not Ohio State or the NCAA, made the judgment that he was ineligible for college play. He then took a series of affirmative steps that were intended to, and had the effect of, accomplishing that result.

"Moreover, Mr. Pryor did so in order to avoid the consequences of his conduct while in college, conduct to which he had admitted and for which he had accepted a suspension, and to hasten the day when he could pursue a potentially lucrative professional career in the NFL.

"This smacks of a calculated effort to manipulate our eligibility rules in a way that undermines the integrity of, and public confidence in those rules.

"I conclude that Mr. Pryor's actions warranted imposition of conditions on his entry into the NFL, namely that he serve the same five-game suspension that he had previously agreed to while at Ohio State."

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