Today is the NFL’s 2011 supplemental draft. The supplemental draft is used to accommodate players who did not enter the regular draft. Most of the time, players enter the supplemental draft because they missed the filing deadline for the NFL Draft or because issues developed which affected their college eligibility such as academic or conduct issues.
The supplemental draft was scheduled for last Wednesday. It was postponed until today because the NFL had to decide whether or not former Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor could participate. Last December, Pryor was suspended for the first five games of the 2011 season because he accepted cash and discounts on tattoos for autographing memorabilia. This summer more information surfaced about Ohio State, the coach Jim Tressel “resigned” and Pryor left college for the NFL.
At the end of last week, the NFL announced that Pryor was eligible for the supplemental draft, but will not be able to practice or play for the first five weeks of the season. Roger Goodell, NFL Commissioner, is basically executing the punishment that Ohio State and the NCAA gave Pryor for accepting improper benefits. Pryor accepted it without any problems.
I can’t believe that I am getting ready to take up for a former Buckeye, but I think Goodell’s decision is ridiculous. What makes this so absurd is that the timing of the punishment was senseless in the first place. If Ohio State and the NCAA were that serious about the infractions that Pryor committed, they would have suspended him immediately. Instead, they chose to allow him to play in the Sugar Bowl. The offense was not worth Ohio State being without its star quarterback and losing viewership, money and another bowl win.
In my opinion, Goodell just made himself the conduct czar for college football and set a huge precedent. Ohio State did not do what they should have done; so the NFL is disciplining Pryor. The “crime” that Terrelle committed did not break NFL policy. He was a student at the time, not a NFL player bound to the league’s personal conduct policy. When does an employer punish someone for what they did in college?
Shame on Ohio State and the NCAA for not immediately suspending Pryor last year.
Shame on the NFL for getting involved with disciplining future employees for actions committed before they were employed.
The supplemental draft begins at 1:00 pm. The other eligible players for the supplemental draft are Georgia running back Caleb King, former Northern Illinois safety Tracy Wilson, former Western Carolina cornerback Torez Jones, former Lindenwood University defensive end Keenan Mace, and former North Carolina defensive end Michael McAdoo.
Heels & Helmets®