US college sport can be regarded as a replica of the US professional sport with its stars, achievements and scandals. Sport is now associated with big money and such popular kind of sport as football is associated with huge money. It is not surprising that even athletes of college leagues are involved in various scandals. For instance, the story of a promising college football player, Terrelle Pryor, is an example of the way athletes are involved in scandals.
Terrelle Pryor (born in 1989) achieved his first significant results in football when he was a high school student. The young athlete was in the position of quarterback and his team managed to enter the state championship. After his high school football league success, Pryor started his career at Ohio State as he entered the Ohio State University (Miller, 2011). The athlete was very successful during his time in the team and he set a record of seven games with three hundred yards of offence (Miller, 2011). He is a promising athlete with his 6-foot-4 frame. Many sport analytics and coaches note that Pryor is ready for professional sport due to his height and his athletic skills.
However, the athlete’s behavior threatened his future in the professional football. Pryor was involved in a number of scandals. For instance, the athlete’s relatives owned several expensive cars, which made it clear that Pryor received illegal benefits. The incidents of driving a car with expired driving license, infuriated Pryor’s fans even more. The athlete was involved in the scandal associated with memorabilia as he was accused of selling his signature for big money (Miller, 2011). Nevertheless, many people stress that incidents associated with memorabilia are quite common among athletes as well as sport managers (Bacon, 2013). Interestingly, the scandals did not lead to complete expulsion of Pryor. On the contrary, he entered the professional league. At present, he is trying to prove coaches and sport managers as well as his fans that he is a capable athlete who can achieve really high results.
The fact that the young athlete has offers from a number of teams and the fact that he has signed a contract with Cincinnati Bengals shows that professional sport is not very sensitive to such scandals (Patra, 2015). Bacon (2013) also adds that the athlete made the right decision when he announced that he took the money for the memorabilia, as he needed to pay his mum’s rent. Clearly, this can make the fact of getting unlawful and unethical benefits less unethical as the young man is a caring son (Bacon, 2013). It is noteworthy that Terrelle will not play the first games in the season, which is a sign that the team management tries to show their attitude towards scandals and unethical (or unlawful) behaviors of athletes (Luchs & Dale, 2012).
At the same time, it is also clear that Pryor has learned a lesson, but only partially. On the one hand, he claimed that he would not play for his college team to keep his teammates uninvolved in the scandal. He also seemed to regret about his behavior (Miller, 2011). Nonetheless, he also admits that many athletes do similar things. The athlete is also quite confident that he will sign a good contract and he even insists on keeping the position of the quarterback although some coaches are considering other positions for him (Patra, 2015).
Terrelle Pryor’s career and his behavior are very suggestive and they shed light on peculiarities of the US college and professional sport leagues. Sport is gradually turning into business where rules can be sometimes broken or evaded if there is a chance of earning more profit. High achievers will get attention and contracts even though their behavior can be sometimes unethical. However, it is quite alarming that these trends that are typical of big business and big sport are already found in college leagues. Of course, Pryor’s misbehavior has not led to devastating effects and teams are trying to be responsible punishing their athletes. Athletes are suspended or fined. However, the more effective an athlete is, the less serious punishment he/she gets. There are chances that athletes as well as teams will become less sensitive to scandals and less responsible in the future.
In conclusion, it is necessary to note that Terrelle’s Pryor can be regarded as an illustration of the existing trends in college and professional sport. Scandals and focus on profits can deteriorate major sport principles. Hence, it is essential to draw people’s attention to the problem. It is important to start a discussion of the importance of ethical and responsible behavior of athletes, teams and leagues especially when it comes to such popular sports as football. People should remember that sport is still a source of role models for younger generations and teenagers often copy behaviors of their sport idols. It is clear that athletes should remember that each of their unethical actions can corrupt young people who will develop a society of unfair competitors.
Bacon, J.U. (2013). Fourth and long: The fight for the soul of college football. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster.
Luchs, J., & Dale, J. (2012). Illegal procedure: A sports agent comes clean on the dirty business of college football. New York, NY: Bloomsbury Publishing USA.
Miller, R. (2011). Terrelle Pryor leaving Ohio State: Star quarterback ends college career. Huffington Post.
Patra, K. (2015). Terrelle Pryor signs with Cincinnati Bengals.