As the NCAA's investigation into possible violations committed by Ohio State in regards to a Columbus car dealership wears on, and with coach Jim Tressel no longer around to take the brunt of the blame, Terrelle Pryor, the Buckeyes' quarterback, is left to twist in the wind.
But Pryor's lawyer, Larry James, indicates his client might be nearing a decision about whether to remain at Ohio State or leave for professional football. And his godfather and legal guardian, Willie Burns, disputed an Associated Press report in which he was quoted as saying Pryor was leaning toward returning to Columbus for his senior season.
"He's his own man," Burns said. "If he quits and goes pro, it's on him. If he stays, it's on him."
When asked about Pryor's long-term plans, James said "it's premature to answer that right now."
Pryor has been implicated in Ohio State's dealings with Columbus car dealer Aaron Kniffin, and reportedly "connected" to a half-dozen cars during his three years in Columbus. But Kniffin released a statement denying all claims of wrongdoing last week.
If Pryor returns to Columbus, he will serve at least a five-game suspension to begin the 2011 season as a punishment for improper benefits received in relation to the sale of memorabilia. If Pryor chooses to leave Ohio State, it is unclear whether the NFL's current labor situation will permit him to enter the NFL supplemental draft.