Tuesday afternoon, suspended Ohio State quarterback announced that he was declaring for the NFL supplemental draft. Pryor, who was facing additional NCAA scrutiny over concerns over his cars. Pryor's attorney disputed a recent Sports Illustrated report, saying it was "90% wrong." But rather than continue to fight, Pryor is following the lead of former Ohio State coach Jim Tressel, who resigned as the Buckeye football program was exposed.
Frankly, this shouldn't be a surprise to anybody who's followed the sordid tale of rules violations at Ohio State in recent months. It eliminates another source of distraction moving forward with Ohio State, as Pryor's future eligibility would be a source of contention. Cutting the cord now is best for all parties, as the NCAA now can focus primarily on the penalty that The ohio state University will suffer.Ohio State's Joe Bauserman is a fifth-year senior quarterback who might be best poised to provide steady leadership during an expected season of turmoil. But the Buckeyes might choose to take a chance on a less experienced, more talented quarterback, such as Kenny Guiton, Taylor Graham or Braxton Miller.
Will this departure help Ohio State avoid even stiffer punishment? Hardly. The NCAA is being looked at in this situation to lay down the law, especially after seeming to waiver in the initial suspension cases last December. I honestly expect the Buckeyes to be hit hard, and lose many scholarships over multiple years. Perhaps the USC case will provide us a template: two year postseason ban, followed by the loss of 30 scholarships over the next three years.
That penalty, in effect, kills the Trojan football program for the next six years. Recruiting going forward will only be able to offer a fraction of the scholarships they could in the past, meaning that there are 1-AA programs with scholarship players when the sanctions are done. I expect something similar to happen to Ohio State, and it won't be pretty. USC will almost assuredly be a bottom-feeder in the Pac-12 as the scholarship limitations end, and while they'll recover, it'll take time. And for Ohio State fans, that's an ominous warning.