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KERBER – NFL Opening Pandora’s Box?

Chris Kerber
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Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

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The NFL’s decision to suspend Terrelle Pryor for the first five games of this season if he is chosen in the supplemental draft is one that comes with a massive Pandora’s Box, and one thing is extremely clear.  There is no way the NFL will be able to apply any kind of consistency to the decision they made with Pryor.

On the surface it at least seems fair.  Pryor was set to serve a five game suspension had he resumed his college career and I have no problem with the NFL essentially honoring that decision by the NCAA.   Pryor earned it with his stupid and selfish decisions and deciding to try and enter the NFL should not allow him to escape some ramifications.

The question becomes, does this open the door for the NFL to become an enforcement arm for the NFL?  Players should worry.  If players are found in violation of NCAA rules after they entered the NFL, can and will the NFL decide to suspend the players for a period of time?  The NFL says this was a specific ruling relating to a specific case because of the unique factors.  If I am the NFLPA, being that Goodell is essentially the judge, jury, and executioner of sentences, I would want written assurances this is a one time decision and not a precedent setting ruling.  I’d make darn sure there can be no discipline to current players when college violations are uncovered.

Think about this.  Should the NFL do anything to any of the Miami players that played a role in the current scandal in South Florida?  What should the NFL do to Reggie Bush?  Can you make the case he fled the NCAA and hit the NFL to avoid being exposed at USC?  Here’s my favorite.  It was as clear as the nose on his face that Pete Carroll jumped to the NFL because he new the hammer was coming down on USC for violations committed while he was there.  Where was the NFL and Goodell on that one?  With Pryor, the NFL is essentially saying you can’t use the NFL as a place to avoid paying the price for breaking the rules in college.  They sure looked the other way when it came to Pete Carroll.

With all the issues the NCAA continues to have, is some level of partnership between the NCAA and the NFL viable to help curb the tide of cheating in college?  Maybe.  Could it have a positive affect on the college ranks?  Who knows.  But this I know.  The NFL and NFLPA better make sure their intentions and ramifications of the Terrell Pryor case are clear or both may find themselves opening a Pandora’s box they can’t close.

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