Tue Jun 14 05:12pm EDT
Terrelle Pryor spoke to the media for the first time since, well, quite possibly spring football, but what he had to say -- all 97 seconds of it -- didn't quite live up to what folks were hoping to hear.
In a prepared statement, Pryor, flanked by his agent Drew Rosenhaus, apologized.
But he never really explained what he was apologizing for, just a general apology that vaguely acknowledged wrongdoing.
"In terms of Ohio State, I'd like to say sorry to the coaching staff, say sorry to my teammates, say sorry to all of Buckeye nation and all Buckeye fans across the country," he said during the press conference Tuesday. "I never meant to hurt anybody directly or indirectly with my conduct off the field and I am truly sorry."
The "conduct off the field" is something that has come under great scrutiny the past few weeks and was ultimately what prompted Pryor to leave Ohio State last week. Pryor has been linked to selling his memorabilia in exchange for tattoos, driving suspicious vehicles that may or may not have been loaners and signing memorabilia for a man named Dennis Talbott for upwards of $40,000 a year.
But he didn't mention any of that. In fact, Rosenhaus made sure none of the specifics were broached.
Rosenhaus said Pryor had expressed "tremendous remorse" and is "responsible for the mistakes he has made. He has owned up to them. … But the past is now the past."
The past may be the past for Pryor, who acknowledged he was going to enter the NFL's supplemental draft in July, but it will ultimately be the future for Ohio State. The school and its current and future players will have to pay for Pryor's conduct.
However, Pryor seemed genuinely remorseful, especially when it came to former coach Jim Tressel, who resigned on May 30 in part because of the actions of Pryor and four other teammates who traded memorabilia for tattoos and in part because of trying to cover up the scandal.
"To coach Jim Tressel, a special shout-out, I'm sorry for all I've done," Pyor said. "I apologize with all my heart. I love you just like a father. You taught me a lot. I apologize for being in a situation that [has taken] you out of a job and a place that you loved to be. I regret the fact that you're not there anymore, and I regret that fact I'm not there anymore."
Rosenhaus said he spoke to Tressel about Pryor before bringing him on as a client and that Tressel supported his former top recruit.
"I was very moved with what Jim Tressel had to say to me," Rosenhaus said. "I don't know that I've ever heard a coach speak more fondly of a player than Jim Tressel spoke about Terrelle. He talked about him in the same way you would talk about a son. They talk every day four or five times a day. There's no way that I would be representing him, working with Terrelle, without Jim Tressel's involvement."
Pryor said he also planned to return to Ohio State to get his degree -- he's nine credits short of graduating -- and, he also said, "One of my goals is to be the best person I can possibly be off the field, be the best role model I can possibly be off the field."
It's hard to determine whether Pryor is serious about change or is pandering to the NFL. Earlier in the day, Chad Ochocinco, another Rosenhaus client, tweeted about Pryor's ability to be an NFL quarterback after a workout Tuesday morning.
"the media said @tpeezy2 isn't NFL type QB, after running routes n seeing great timing n arm strength I beg to differ."
The whole exchange seemed more like a way to increase Pryor's value as an NFL quarterback than an honest assessment of Pryor's skills.
So, when Pryor tried to give his heartfelt speech, but declined to take questions or cite specifics, the whole press conference seemed a little thin as well. Especially after Rosenhaus abruptly ended the event.
"I think I've said it all," Rosenhaus said after about six minutes. "So I'd like to thank everybody for coming. Guys, we're going to shut it down right now and I appreciate your time. Thank you."
Rosenhaus said he hoped Ohio State could come to embrace Terrelle Pryor again, but I think it's going to take awhile for the wounds to heal. While not everything that went down was Pryor's fault, he was complicit in a lot of it and, as noted earlier, it could ruin Ohio State football for some time.