Jay Paterno reflects on Pryor, turmoil

June, 16, 2011
6/16/11
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The turbulent end to Terrelle Pryor's career at Ohio State has caused fans from two other Big Ten schools to feel relief -- and even a bit of joy.

Pryor had both Michigan and Penn State among his final pool of college options before settling on Ohio State in March 2008. Many viewed Pryor as the perfect fit for Rich Rodriguez's spread offense at Michigan, while his pledge to Penn State would have been a big coup for the Lions and their in-state recruiting efforts.

But after seeing Pryor at the center of the Ohio State turmoil, some fans from both Michigan and Penn State are glad he wasn't their problem.

Penn State quarterbacks coach Jay Paterno is neither relieved nor happy.

JayPa recruited Pryor and got to know the nation's top recruit well during the process. Although Michigan and Oregon have been listed as Pryor's top choices after Ohio State, Penn State also was in the mix.

Paterno reflects on Pryor's situation in his weekly column today:
At recent alumni events, I've been asked by Penn Staters about the Ohio State situation and about Terrelle Pryor. The night he left school, I even got messages from people who were almost gleeful about the latest developments.
When Pryor went to Ohio State, both Joe Paterno and I were blamed by some media members and fans for being the reason he went elsewhere. Most would expect that I was happy the way things turned out.
Watching how this story has ended hasn't given me any joy. Quite the contrary, it has bothered and even saddened me.

Jay Paterno goes on to recall his conversation with Pryor the night before Pryor signed with Ohio State. According to Paterno, Pryor was very much on the fence between Ohio State and Penn State.

While Pryor has received ample criticism since his NCAA violations first surfaced in December, Paterno feels sympathy toward him. Paterno's opinion resonates because he was closer to the Pryor situation than any of us.
During the current NCAA investigation, it has been easy for members of the media to vilify a young man for mistakes he made. The decisions and the path he chose were all a result of behavior that was learned from adults.
It is not instinct; it is learned behavior.
Where else in the world can a 17- or 18-year-old get a national television audience to tell everyone where he is going to college? What are we telling these young men? We grant them an inflated sense of their self-importance, and then we are surprised when they believe the hype we created for them.

Some good points here.

While Pryor can't be absolved of his choices and actions, he might never have received the type of guidance he needed. Sure, Pryor had plenty of folks influencing and "advising" him, but how many had his best interests at heart?

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