Terrelle Pryor wants Ohio State to reinstate his records now that college athletes can make money off their own image rights.
Pryor was one of five Ohio State players suspended in 2010 after they sold team gear and received discounted tattoos. The players were suspended for five games in 2011 and the scandal led to the end of the Jim Tressel era at Ohio State. It also ultimately caused Ohio State to have to vacate wins from the 2010 season and receive a bowl ban in 2012 along with other penalties.
The 12 vacated wins from a 12-1 campaign in 2010 mean the statistics accumulated in them don't officially exist. Pryor wants those stats reinstated on behalf of the players who were sanctioned over a decade ago. He posted a statement to Twitter on Tuesday asking for their records to be officially recognized again.
“The affirmation of NCAA athletes’ rights to make a living from their name, image and likeness is a huge step in the right direction. Armed with the correct resources and support, we know they’ll show what we felt to be true all along — not letting athletes capitalize on what ultimately is their hard work was unjust and unnecessary.
Now that fundamental right has been granted to a new generation of athletes. Now that they finally have the freedom to share in some of the millions of dollars in revenue they generate for their coaches, their institutions, their conferences and the NCAA as a whole, we would like to see our hard won accomplishments reinstated.”
Here's the statement in full. It’s signed by Pryor, DeVier Posey, Solomon Thomas, Mike Adams and Daniel Herron. The players played in Ohio State's Sugar Bowl win over Arkansas after the punishments were announced and Pryor went to the NFL after the 2010 season. He was a third-round pick of the Oakland Raiders in the 2011 supplemental draft.
The time has come @NCAA @OSU_AD @OhioStAthletics @Channel75live @DPo8 @BOOMHERRON1 #solomonThomas @AdamSchefter we should get our wins back records back and legacy of @JimTressel5 back and not looked past it! NCAA suspended us but let us play in the sugar bowl win vs Arkansas pic.twitter.com/pGpEvJCbx5
— Terrelle Pryor SR (@TerrellePryor) July 13, 2021
Ohio State's new name, image, and likeness rules prohibit selling of team gear
While you can understand why Pryor wants the team's records to be reinstated now that athletes can legally take sponsor money, it's hard to see how Ohio State and the NCAA are going to be willing to officially recognize the team's accomplishments again even if you think it's the right thing to do.
Like many schools across the country located in states that do not have name, image, and likeness laws in effect, Ohio State created its own NIL rules so that players can make money. And selling team gear is prohibited under its new rules. What the players did in 2010 would not be allowed in 2021.
According to the official rules document on Ohio State’s site, athletes "may not sell your team-issued equipment and apparel (i.e., shoes, jersey, helmet, sticks/bats, warm-ups, etc.) until your eligibility is exhausted." Since the players were current students at the time, what they did would be prohibited by the current rules.
And we're guessing that as long as the current rule is in place at Ohio State then the players are going to be out of luck.
Reggie Bush made similar request
The Ohio State players' request comes after Reggie Bush also asked for his records at USC to be reinstated. USC was forced to vacate wins and Bush returned his Heisman Trophy after an investigation found that Bush and his family received benefits from an agent during Bush's time at USC.
The Heisman Trust said in a statement on July 2 that it would recognize Bush as the 2005 Heisman winner once the NCAA officially reinstated his statistics — something the NCAA has shown no signs of doing anytime soon. Bush is the only player to have his Heisman officially listed as "vacated" and recently was welcomed back at USC after a 10-year disassociation period as part of the NCAA's discipline of the school.
Ohio State's 2011 season was coached by current Cincinnati coach Luke Fickell after Tressel resigned that spring because of the scandal. An investigation found that Tressel knew about the arrangement for the players. Fickell became the team's interim coach after Tressel officially retired from his head coaching job and Ohio State hired Urban Meyer ahead of the 2012 season.
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