In an address peppered with apologies, former Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor spoke publicly for the first time since he left the program one week ago.
What he was specifically apologizing for, however, remains unclear as Pryor, flanked by newly signed agent Drew Rosenhaus, attempted to put the cap on a tumultuous six months for both him and the OSU program.
“In terms of Ohio State, I’d like to say sorry to the coaching staff, say sorry to my teammates, say sorry to all of Buckeye nation and all Buckeye fans across the country,” he said Tuesday afternoon. “I never meant to hurt anybody directly or indirectly with my conduct off the field and I am truly sorry.”
Pryor is a central figure in a scandal that has cost head coach Jim Tressel his job and put the program in the crosshairs of the NCAA’s infractions committee. In December, Pryor and five other teammates received suspensions for trading personal merchandise for discounted tattoos. Tressel ultimately resigned when it was learned that he was at least partially aware of the situation and did not report the information to his superiors.
Since Tressel’s resignation, the NCAA has continued to investigate Pryor and others within the program. Questions have been raised concerning the cars he has been seen driving throughout his career in Columbus and recent ESPN reports peg Pryor as having made as much as $40,000 for signing autographs to a former photographer from Columbus. Through his lawyer at the time, Pryor denied the allegations.
Pryor made a point to specifically apologize to Tressel
“In terms of coach Jim Tressel, a special shout-out,” he said. “I’m sorry for what all went down and I apologize with all my heart. I love you just like a father. You taught me a lot. I apologize for putting you in a situation and taking you out of a job and a place that you loved to be. I regret the fact that you’re not there anymore and I regret the fact that I’m not there anymore.”
Rosenhaus, who incorrectly pronounced his client’s name throughout the press conference, said he would not have taken on Pryor as a client were it not for Tressel’s testimonials and promised that the two would work close together.
“I was very moved with what Jim Tressel had to say to me,” Rosenhaus said. “I don’t know that I’ve ever heard a coach speak more fondly of a player than Jim Tressel spoke about Terrelle. He talked about him in the same way you would talk about a son. They talk every day four or five times a day. There’s no way that I would be representing him, working with Terrelle without Jim Tressel’s involvement.”
In addition Rosenhaus said Pryor and Tressel speak four to five times a day.
Pryor did not use notes when issuing his statement and he did not take questions after he and Rosenhaus were done speaking. Rosenhaus opened the press conference by stating that he might take questions but then declined to do so once he was done talking.
Pryor confirmed his plans to enter the NFL’s supplemental draft. During the morning, the quarterback worked out with NFL wide receivers Chad Ochocinco, Donte Stallworth and Antonio Brown.
Rosenhaus said he has no doubts that Pryor will be an elite quarterback at the next level.
“I’m very confident that this drive, this character, this makeup, along with his incredible physical ability, is one of the most gifted quarterbacks that the NFL has seen,” he said. “For anyone who questions where he’s going to be drafted, I expect him to be a first-round pick in the supplemental draft.”