Ohio State’s Terrell Pryor and four other Buckeyes will have to sit out five games for accepting improper benefits. But first, they have a Sugar Bowl to play in. The NCAA suspended the five players today and had this to say about why they’re allowed to play against Arkansas:
“These are significant penalties based on findings and information provided by the university,” Kevin Lennon, NCAA vice president of academic and membership affairs, said in a statement. The players are eligible for the bowl game because the NCAA determined they did not receive adequate rules education during the time period the violations occurred, Lennon said. The NCAA also said that Ohio State did not receive a competitive advantage in the incident.”
They did not receive adequate rules education??? The players received four-figure amounts of money from selling their Ohio State merchandise and they traded autographs for tattoos. That’s a pretty obvious violation of rules. But, like the Cam Newton case, the NCAA lets these big name players off the hook for their “lack of knowledge” in the situation. I didn’t hear any mention of the millions of dollars the NCAA is making off these kids playing in the bowl game.
Yet here we are, still waiting on a verdict on Enes Kanter, who turned down millions of dollars to remain an amateur and was only 15 years old when his father took the $33,000 in question. Can Enes just plead ignorance too? He didn’t receive adequate rules education during his time as a teenager in Turkey. There, we’re all good. Suit him up.
Plus, all five suspended Buckeyes are juniors with NFL level talent. It’s likely they’ll never see any punishment for the violations. But that’s okay. They didn’t know the rules.
Will Lentz Update: When contacted about ‘knowing the rules,’ an NCAA Spokesperson had this to say…
You may want to replace ‘eaten in your sleep,’ with ‘pushed to the NFL…’ or maybe not. Your call.