Friday, June 10, 2011
Report: Terrelle Pryor got free golf
By Brian Bennett
The stories keep trickling out of Columbus about Terrelle Pryor and other Ohio State Buckeyes potentially receiving improper benefits.
The latest is a report by Tom Farrey and Justine Gubar of ESPN's "Outside the Lines" that says Pryor and other players were seen golfing three-to-four times per week at a private country club in the summer of 2008. They were there as a guest of Dennis Talbott, a Columbus photographer who has been linked to the alleged autograph sales by Pryor that "Outside the Lines" reported netted the former Buckeyes quarterback anywhere from $20,000 to $40,000.
"It is unclear whether any of the players reimbursed Talbott for the $80- to $100-a-round guest fees. Even if they had, gaining access to the club through Talbott was an exclusive benefit and could be an NCAA violation.
"At first, general manager Regan Koivisto thought having a few celebrities would generate a good buzz for the Sciota Reserve Country Club. But, he said, he started to worry when they became frequent guests -- and when he learned that Talbott was a sports memorabilia dealer.
"I said, 'This does not smell good,' " Koivisto said. "If anything bad was happening, I didn't want it to be happening on my property."
"... Talbott showed up at the golf club with two or three players at a time during the summer months, and Pryor was out there about nine or 10 times, said an employee at the club who wished to remain anonymous. The only other player he remembered by name was wide receiver DeVier Posey."
Talbott has denied that he paid Pryor or other active Buckeyes for autographs and memorabilia. Pryor's attorney has disputed the story about the money for autographs.
Taken by itself, this latest report isn't a major bombshell. But the stories keep adding up.