For all children that grows up emulating professional athlete’s today want to achieve that success one day. Not all kids are afforded the same upbringing lifestyle as others. Some childhoods are one parent households, poverty-stricken, violent neighborhoods, gangs, etc. Every person has grown up with an adversity sometime in life that made them live with the good and bad decisions. For the kids that make it out there adverse situations, and placed into a collegiate atmosphere is the stepping stone to where most dreams are made true. Over the past years, speculation of receiving improper benefits as a college athlete has been a hot topic. Some of the biggest names in the scandals were Reggie Bush, O.J. Mayo, Cam Newton, Chris Webber, and now Terrelle Pryor.
Pryor forgoes his senior season at Ohio State University to enter the supplemental draft. What he left behind was a five game suspension, firing of former head coach Jim Tressel, Heisman trophy hopes, and beloved fans that cheered for him. When this story first broke it all was speculation until a former friend of Pryor verified exactly what was going on. “He said Pryor was paid $500 to $1,000 each time he signed mini football helmets and other gear for a Columbus businessman and freelance photographer, Dennis Talbott.”
Pryor and other teammates sold championship rings, jerseys and awards. They also received improper benefits from the tattoo parlor and its owner. He even sold a sportsmanship award from the 2008 Fiesta Bowl along with his 2008 Big Ten championship ring. More shockingly to Ohio State fans, he sold a “gold pants” trinket an iconic charm given to players who are a part of a victory over archrival Michigan. His teammates also sold Big Ten championship rings the Buckeyes have won the last six conference titles plus football jerseys, pants and shoes. Gene Smith, Athletic Director said, “The time this occurred with these young men was a very tough time in our society. It’s one of the toughest economic environments in our history,” said Smith. “The decisions that they made were to help their families.”
For all the money that the NCAA profits on a yearly basis of college football is an uprising business with unlimited potential in years to come. The nation’s best athletes are out on display from September to mid February. For these players to receive these benefits all stem from reasons that maybe no business to the worldwide media. One day these blessed athletes will be showcased on the highest level one day. They will live a better lifestyle to provide for their families. A full ride to college is great, but doesn’t satisfy all the needs of college students. These top recruits that come, and generate money for the school aren’t allowed to profit off of themselves is absurd. It’s like going to work, and at the end of the week you’re expecting a paycheck instead you receive handshake. No one likes not feeling compensated for the effort they put into their job. Football is their job!
As Pryor prepares for the NFL he leaves numerous swirling questions if he can even be an elite quarterback. Can throw all the passes? Read the defense? Will he rely on his feet more than his arm? What team will take a chance on him? Guess we will have to wait and see!