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Dolphins' Crowder backtracks from college jersey comments

  • By NFL.com
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So, did Channing Crowder really sell football jerseys during his time at the University of Florida, as he "hypothetically" claimed on a radio show last weekend?

No, said the Miami Dolphins linebacker, who clarified himself Tuesday during a telephone interview with ESPN.

Crowder, a Gators standout in 2003 and 2004, said his comments weren't supposed to be taken seriously, chalking it up to a publicity stunt meant to draw attention to his new weekly radio show on Miami's WQAM-AM.

"That's what you got to do in media," Crowder said. "You have to amp yourself up to get a buzz going about your show to get the ratings up. I was playing off the whole Terrell Pryor thing when businessmen were buying his stuff."

Crowder was referring to the erstwhile Ohio State quarterback, who reportedly made thousands of dollars autographing memorabilia during his time in college. The subsequent fallout about this and other improper benefits led to Buckeyes coach Jim Tressel resigning and Pryor leaving the program.

In the debut of "The Channing Crowder Show" on Sunday, the linebacker insinuated that he had profited from his college career.

"I'll say hypothetically I don't have any more of my Florida jerseys," Crowder said. "There were some Jacksonville businessmen that really hypothetically liked my play."

Crowder backtracked from those comments Tuesday, saying he knows the whereabouts of all four of his Gators jerseys. His mother has two, and he has the others.

"You know how big that blew up -- that was hilarious," Crowder said in another appearance on WQAM-AM, according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel. "I was trying to say that if you wanted to make money off your name -- why couldn't you make money off your name? And they put it out there like they want to have an investigation on the University of Florida now. ...

"As a matter of fact, I think so highly of myself, and my mom thinks highly of me, so I can't sell any of my jerseys. I've got to keep them all."

Crowder told ESPN that he hasn't spoken with Pryor, but he sympathizes with both the quarterback and Tressel, who's out of work despite going 106-22 during his time at Ohio State. Crowder said he believes there should be an incentive program for college players that allows them to receive accrued financial benefits upon graduation. He also wished Pryor well as he moves on from the controversy.

"Terrell's making that jump to the NFL, and I hope he has a great career at the next level," Crowder said.

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