Sports Illustrated’s Jim Trotter has a piece out today on Terelle Pryor. Among many things discussed was the circumstances that led to Pryor’s suspension at OSU and the season he had last year in Oakland sitting on the bench.
“It was humbling,” he said. “A mistake I made when I was a freshman by selling my pants for $3,000 just took away everything from me. I was just driven into the ground. I was the worst person in the world. My face popped up on the screen, and it seemed like I was the only one who did anything. I was the only one who was getting attacked. At that point last year, I’m 21 and it just felt like everything was against me, like I can’t do anything right. I did something to help somebody else out, and I end up getting into trouble. I understand. I shouldn’t have sold the stuff and taken $3,000. But I was kind of in a place where I didn’t understand why this is happening to me — especially for the reason that I did it.
“The reason why I did it was to pay my mother’s gas bill and some of her rent. She was four months behind in rent, and the [landlord] was so nice because he was an Ohio State fan. He gave her the benefit of the doubt and she said, ‘My son will pay you back sometime if you just let me pay you back during my work sessions.’ She ended up losing her job, and she and my sister lived there. Let me remind you it was freezing cold in November, December, and she’s using the oven as heat. That’s what I did as a kid. I was telling the NCAA, ‘Please, anything that you can do. I gave my mother this so my sister wouldn’t be cold, so my mother wouldn’t be cold.’ They didn’t have any sympathy for me. It’s not like I went there and bought new Jordans. It’s documented. Whenever I write my book the proof will be in there, the receipt that the money I gave my mother was to pay the electric and heat bill. The truth is going to come out one day when the time is right. I don’t think I deserved [being punished] in that way, because of the reason I was doing it. I felt like I was doing God’s work in a way, and I was getting driven into the ground.”
Do take a moment and read the whole piece if you are an Ohio State fan. It probably won’t change your opinion of Pryor. It certainly doesn’t change the fact that Oakland decided they need to give Matt Leinart a shot at the back-up job.