It’s been one of the most hectic days in the college football offseason in recent memory, so I figured I’d combine the day’s biggest happenings into one not-so-succinct article.
Terrelle Pryor Reportedly Done at OSU
According to his lawyer, Larry James, quarterback Terrelle Pryor is done at Ohio State. This comes after an internal and NCAA investigation was launched into the several cars that he has driven during his time at Ohio State and amid the general turmoil surrounding Buckeyes football.
Presumably, Pryor will enter the NFL’s supplemental draft whenever the owners and players decide enough is enough and reach a collective bargaining agreement, although James said that, “He’ll take the next couple days to collect his thoughts.”
According to ESPN NFL draft analyst Todd McShay, teams may view Pryor as a potential wide receiver if the whole quarterback thing doesn’t work out. McShay argues that Pryor would have benefited from the extra year in the collegiate ranks even if he were to miss the Buckeyes’ first five games due to a suspension stemming from his involvement in what’s been dubbed, ‘Tattoo Gate’. He simply has more developing to do before he’s ready to take the field as an NFL quarterback, particularly as it pertains to reading defenses and improving his accuracy. Still, somebody is likely going to take a chance on Pryor as a quarterback.
The announcement of Pryor’s decision to retire, which was first reported by Doug Lesmerises of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer, did not offer an explanation as to why he decided to end his collegiate career, but presumably it had something to do with the NCAA’s investigation into improper benefits received by Pryor and others at the school.
Pryor released the following statement confirming the report: “In the best interest of my teammates, I have decided to forego my senior year of football at the Ohio State University.”
Rachel McCoy, Colt’s Wife, Talks Agents, Boosters and Paying College Athletes
This could mean big trouble for Texas if the NCAA decides to take seriously what Rachel McCoy may have unintentionally insinuated when speaking on Colin Cowherd‘s ESPN radio show this afternoon.
McCoy didn’t name names except to say that her husband, Colt, was offered but did not accept benefits offered to him while he was at Texas.
Perhaps the most damning part of the conversation for the Longhorns was this:
“I know Colt was approached quite a bit… but I saw so many of his teammates who just didn’t have some of that self control to say no to somebody … it’s hard, because you have adults who you respect and who you think will know what’s right and what’s wrong and you’re taught to respect adults… when you have adults offering things, promising the world …we’re taught to go along with that and to say yes and accept those things because that’s the respectful thing to do.”
Of course, it’s hard to say whether she meant to imply that some of his teammates did accept benefits from boosters, but it certainly sounds that way. At the very least, the NCAA could decide it warrants a little digging around.
In the middle of her conversation with Cowherd, McCoy was asked, “Were there times when Colt McCoy, your husband, think ‘Man, I’m winning a lot of games, I’m making a lot of money for this school.’ Are there times when even a Colt McCoy thinks, ‘Man, we should be getting paid here.’” Her response:
“That was the biggest joke. Anytime you’d see a 12-jersey running around, which in Austin, Texas you see it everywhere…it’s hard to swallow that when you’re in college and you are making zero dollars and you’re getting zero help and yeah you could look at it and say, ‘yeah all your hopes and dreams are coming true,’ but it’s hard sometimes to see at a university like Texas that they are making a lot of money and even though you love your school it’s tough when there are things that could be handed to you that seem so minor—a dinner, a hunt, a fishing trip—that most kids don’t even realize are illegal…”
I wrote an article about this yesterday and it’s nice to see the issue getting more attention, even if most will focus on the implication that unnamed Longhorns received improper benefits while at school. Texas is hardly the first school to be mentioned as one whose players have received illicit benefits; and the way information has come out over the past couple of years, fans of rival schools should probably hold their breath when they get that urge to have at fans of Texas, Ohio State, Auburn, North Carolina, USC, etc. etc. etc.
Here’s the audio of McCoy’s call-in to Cowherd’s show.
Bill Stewart Accused of Asking Reporter to Dig Up Dirt on Dana Holgorsen
This won’t get the same amount of attention that the Pryor or McCoy stories will, but it’s probably the most surprising. According to Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reporter Colin Dunlap, current West Virginia head coach Bill Stewart asked him and another reported to dig up dirt on new Mountaineers offensive coordinator and head-coach-in-waiting Dana Holgorsen.
Dunlap said that he did not comply with Stewart’s request, which was made before WVU’s bowl game, and sat on the story because he wanted to “[give] the guy the benefit of the doubt because I knew he was backed in a corner and kind of scared,” referring to Stewart seeing his replacement hired. Dunlap was speaking on 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh when he made these allegations. Graham Watson of Dr. Saturday transcribed the interview HERE.
After reports surfaced that Holgorsen had been involved in prior drunken episodes before the one in which he was asked to leave a casino after he had too much to drink, West Virginia announced that it was “searching for anonymous contributors to newspaper stories it says contain ‘blatant inaccuracies’ about the football team’s head coach-in-waiting and offensive coordinator,” according to Mike Casazza of the Charleston Daily Mail. HailWV.com reported that Karen Stewart, Bill’s wife, was one of the sources, and The Smoking Musket reported that Stewart himself was one of the sources.
Whew, got all of that? If all of this is true, and I’m not saying that any of it is, I’m not sure if the situation paints Holgorsen in a worse light for being involved in several drunken episodes, or Stewart for ratting on the head coach-in-waiting—which makes him look childish.
I have no sources here so don’t go digging around, but I find it very likely that Stewart has coached his last game at WVU. As for Holgorsen, I can see the Mountaineers keeping him on if it turns out the previous incidents of drunkenness are untrue, but even if they are he probably has a better shot at keeping his job than Stewart. If this had been an instance of an NCAA violation and Stewart went to the compliance department, that’d be a different story. But that’s not what happened.
As Mike Florio suggested today on CollegeFootballTalk.com, the Mountaineers could always give a former head coach a ring. Rich Rodriguez has admitted making a mistake when he left WVU and while he’d likely have to make peace with a lot of WVU fans, bringing him back could make the most sense for a coach regretting his decision to leave the program, and a university likely regretting this whole coach-in-waiting fiasco and looking for somebody to lead the football team into future. Who better than the last coach to have a great deal of success at West Virginia?
- Tressel’s “Pryor” Knowledge a Distraction from Issues at Hand; Longhorns Could be Next Scapegoat
- Ohio State Turmoil Raises Player Compensation Questions
- Trojan Collapse or Triumph in USC’s Future?
- BCS, “Confident” Hancock Meeting with Department of Justice: DOJ Investigation Next?
- Top Five for the Seminoles?
- Tressel Out, 2012 Too Soon for Meyer?
- Justin Blackmon: Breaking Heisman Barriers in 2011?
- Michigan State: Set for a Big Ten title run? Or another also-ran?