Saturday, September 10, 2011

What Pryor's Appeal Means

It has been reported that former Ohio State Buckeyes QB Terrelle Pryor will appeal his 5 game suspension imposed by the NFL.

The NFL feels that Pryor manipulated the NFL draft system to avoid punishment by the NCAA. In so doing, he undermined the integrity of the draft and was therefore suspended. In sabotaging his college eligibility and making himself available for the Supplemental Draft, Pryor avoided his NCAA punishment.

The perception is that the NFL suspended Pryor for his NCAA violations (and specifically for not serving the suspension).

The NFL's position, however, is that it did not suspend Pryor for his NCAA violations per se. Rather, the NFL relied on its own Constitution, which provides that the Commish can do whatever he feels is necessary in the "best interest of the league" to address "any conduct detrimental" to the NFL.

So that means that the NFL technically suspended Pryor for manipulating the draft system to gain eligibility under questionable circumstances. Remember, Pryor intended to play his senior year and didn't declare himself eligible for the regular draft. But when he was suspended, he hired an agent and refused to cooperate with the NCAA, setting off a chain of events leading to today.

Pryor will likely argue that even though the NFL has relied on its Constitution, he is effectively being disciplined by the NFL for something he did when he was not an employee of the NFL.

A number of players wanted to see an appeal because they felt the suspension went too far. The NFL, however, thought it was just right.

By the way, as a result of the suspension, Pryor stands to lose $110,000 of is $375,000 salary. On appeal, it may be possible to see that amount drop. So just for that reason, an appeal doesn't seem unreasonable.

This promises to be interesting.

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