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Pryor's lawyer considering appeal of five-game suspension

  • By NFL.com Wire Reports
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The lawyer for Terrelle Pryor said Friday that the five-game suspension levied against the former Ohio State quarterback as a condition of his eligibility for the NFL's supplemental draft can be appealed.

NFL Network's Albert Breer reported that a final decision on an appeal hasn't been reached by Pryor's camp. The quarterback's attorney, David Cornwell, told ESPN Radio on Friday morning that he was "not pleased" with the league's ruling, which states Pryor won't be allowed to practice with the team that selects him until Week 6.

NFL's decisions backs NCAA
The NFL's decision to suspend ex-Ohio State QB Terrelle Pryor for the first five games of the 2011 season was well-received in college circles.
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"(Commissioner Roger Goodell) indicated that we have the right to appeal within three days after Terrelle signs an NFL contract," Cornwell said. "And given some of the developments -- both in reaching the decision and comments out of the (NFL Players Association) regarding the decision -- I think it's likely that we will file an appeal and give the Players Association an opportunity to make its objections to this on the record."

Breer confirmed that the league will allow Pryor to appeal the suspension within three days of signing with an NFL team.

Goodell and NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith worked together on Thursday's decision, according to Pryor's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, who originally backed the deal.

The NFL hopes the suspension will dissuade future college players who run afoul of the NCAA from trying to use the league as a means of escaping punishment.

Citing a union source, Breer reported the NFLPA was prepared to fight any suspension levied on Pryor that related to his actions as a collegian.

One of the points of contention during negotiations for a new NFL labor agreement was the authority given to Goodell to hand out punishment. In the end, there were no changes to Goodell's position, but his decision to suspend Pryor worried players.

"I know players are concerned about the message this sends," said Cleveland Browns linebacker Scott Fujita, a member of the players' executive committee. "Granted, making this 'deal' was an individual decision made by a player with counsel from his agent and lawyer. They have every right to make whatever deal they want for his personal future. That being said, the general concern now is how far into Pandora's box this may go."

The supplemental draft was supposed to be held Wednesday, and Pryor's name wasn't on the NFL's initial list of eligible players. But it was postponed a few days, and Pryor's name showed up Thursday.

If he hadn't been ruled eligible, Pryor would have had to wait until next April for the 2012 NFL Draft.

Regarded as the nation's top quarterback recruit coming out of high school, Pryor led Ohio State to an 8-1 record as a starter and was the Big Ten Conference's freshman of the year in 2008. He took the Buckeyes to the Big Ten title the following season and a victory in the Rose Bowl. He was named the game's MVP after Ohio State beat Oregon 26-17.

Pryor had his best season statistically as a junior in 2010, throwing for 2,772 yards and 27 touchdowns with 11 interceptions. He also ran for 754 yards and four scores while helping the Buckeyes win the Sugar Bowl.

Shortly before the game, it was revealed that Pryor and other players traded Buckeyes memorabilia for cash and discounted tattoos. In the following months, it became clear that coach Jim Tressel knew about the improper benefits in the spring of 2010 but didn't inform his bosses, as was required under his contract and NCAA rules. Tressel was forced out of his job May 30, and Pryor left Ohio State soon after.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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