Sallee: Pryor Can't Be Compared To Newton
Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor
CFN SEC columnist Barrett Sallee objects to the comparisons between Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor and Auburn quarterback Cam Newton.
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The NCAA announced Thursday that Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor, running back Dan Herron, wide receiver DeVier Posey, offensive lineman Mike Adams and defensive lineman Solomon Thomas have been suspended for the first five games of the 2011 season for selling Ohio State memorabilia. Immediately after the announcement, comparisons echoed throughout the Internet comparing the Ohio State situation to the one that embroiled Auburn quarterback Cam Newton late in the 2010 regular season. While the Newton situation may be similar in the fact that they involved the eligibility of a star quarterback, that's where the comparisons stop. In reality, the two situations are much different.
"If Terrelle Pryor had a family member sell his ring, he wouldn't have been suspended at all."
Quotes like the one above bounced around Twitter like Plinko chips on the Price Is Right for about five hours Thursday afternoon. While that may be the cheap and easy pop, it's overlooking one key fact.
In the Ohio State case, the NCAA ruled that extra benefits actually changed hands. In Cam Newton's case, the NCAA (you know, the group that knows more about the situation than pretty much everybody else) ruled that there was not evidence that extra benefits changed hands. Overlooking this obvious, documented fact is extremely irresponsible.
The more appropriate comparison would be to Georgia wide receiver A.J. Green, who was suspended four games to start the 2010 season for selling his 2009 Independence Bowl jersey to an agent. Green's jersey was valued at $1,000. The values of the items in the Ohio State case range from $1,000-$2,500. So when factoring in the value of the merchandise in the Ohio State case, the suspensions of Pryor, Herron, Posey, Adams and Thomas shouldn't be surprising.
Of course, Georgia was forced to suspend Green immediately, while the Ohio State players are allowed to play in the Sugar Bowl. Trying to justify that one takes a lot of work, but that's a different argument for a different day.
If you want to be mad about the Ohio State players being allowed to play in the Sugar Bowl, fine. Lord knows you have plenty of ammunition with that one. If you want to be mad about the fact that the players are in trouble for selling their own memorabilia, fine. After all, they own it. If you want to be mad that college football players aren't paid, fine. An argument can certainly be made for compensation. But comparing the Ohio State situation to Cam Newton's case is comparing apples to oranges. In one case, benefits changed hands. In the other, benefits didn't. Simple, concise and relevant facts like this can't be overlooked.
Barrett Sallee covers the SEC for www.CollegeFootballNews.com. He can be reached at email@example.com, or on Twitter at @BarrettSallee
Click here for the 2010 Three & Out archive
2010 Column Archive:
Pryor Can't Be Compared To Newton – December 23, 2010
Ranking The SEC Bowl Games – December 19, 2010
Malzahn Makes The Right Move – December 14, 2010
Five Thoughts on Muschamp – December 12, 2010
CFN Analysis: Florida Hires Muschamp – December 12, 2010
CFN Analysis: Cam's Heisman Landslide – December 11, 2010
Five Thoughts On Urban Meyer – December 9, 2010
Meyer Leaves Legacy, Question Marks – December 8, 2010
Newton Scandal Is Full Of Questions – November 5, 2010
UNC's Problems Could Hurt Les Miles – August 31, 2010
Predicting The SEC – August 23, 2010
Top Five Games Inside The SEC – August 22, 2010
Ranking The SEC Out-Of-Conference Games – August 21, 2010
SEC Roundtable Discussion Part IV – August 10, 2010
SEC Teams In The Coaches Poll – August 7, 2010
Ranking The SEC Head Coaches – August 2, 2010
SEC Media Days: Day 3 Recap – July 23, 2010
SEC Media Days: Day 2 Recap – July 22, 2010
SEC Media Days: Day 1 Recap – July 21, 2010
SEC Roundtable Discussion Part III – July 13, 2010
SEC Roundtable Discussion Part II – June 21, 2010
Auburn Gets The Last Laugh – June 10, 2010
Realignment – What Should The SEC Do? – June 9, 2010
SEC Roundtable Discussion Part I – June 7, 2010
Richt On The Hot Seat? – June 3, 2010
Auburn Dismisses Redshirt Freshman RB – May 21, 2010
SEC Hires of the Decade – The Bottom Five – May 14, 2010
Top 5 SEC Hires of the Decade – May 5, 2010
Georgia In A Gray Area – April 26, 2009
Taunting Rule Goes Too Far – April 16, 2009
Memorable SEC Press Conferences – February 20, 2009
2010 Early SEC Picks, Part 2 – February 18, 2009
2010 Early SEC Picks, Part 1 – February 16, 2009
Florida Reaches For DC – February 12, 2009
Vols Go West For New DC – February 3, 2009
Early 2010 SEC Predictions – January 31, 2010
Chizik Doing It Right – January 21, 2010
Georgia's DC Debacle – January 12, 2010
SEC Bloggers: Do Over – January 8, 2010
Trouble In Baton Rouge – January 2, 2010
Meyer Calls A Reverse – December 27, 2009
Urban Meyer's SEC Legacy – December 26, 2009
End Of The Season Accountability – December 26, 2009
Ranking The SEC Bowl Games – December 18, 2009
2009 SEC Superlatives – December 13, 2009