Former Ohio State star quarterback Terrelle Pryor said the NCAA “had no sympathy” for him when he tried to explain why he took $3000 for selling memorabilia as a freshman an NCAA violation that resulted in a five-game suspension his senior year and part of a huge scandal for the Buckeyes football program.
Now with the Oakland Raiders, Pryor told Sports Illustrated a mouthful: “The reason why I did it was to pay my mother’s gas bill and some of her rent,” the magazine quoted him as saying. “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.”
Pryor also said he has a receipt, proving the money went toward his family’s bills and not personal use.
“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,” he said. “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 (for helping someone).”