Within minutes, the questions about the Indianapolis Colts' decision to hire Jim Tressel came rolling in. After all, just a few weeks ago the NFL decided to suspend former Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor as a condition of his inclusion into the NFL Supplemental Draft. So, naturally, many began asking when Tressel would suffer the same fate, and be forced to sit-out the first five weeks of the season without pay.
It's a question that's drawn the eyes of the NFLPA. George Atallah had this to say.
The NFLPA will be watching the Jim Tressell situation with interest.
It's not unexpected that the NFLPA will be watching the situation closely, but will it matter? Perhaps what the NFL does or, more importantly, doesn't do will influence the players' union going forward. But will it matter for Pryor? Probably not.
Even if the NFL allows Jim Tressel into its ranks without repercussions, there's little the NFLPA can do. The ruling used to suspend Pryor had to do with supplemental draft eligibility, we were told, and has no bearing on a coach or consultant coming into the league. This isn't a draft with an entrance requirement, it's a free market.
Does that make it right? Absolutely not. Not in the least bit. Pryor was suspended under the guise of protecting the integrity of the supplement draft -- reasoning that is, in my own opinion, a load of crap. Theoretically, it would have set a precedent, allowing the NFL to prevent players from fleeing the college ranks after breaking NCAA rules. But precedent doesn't matter here and decisions are made based upon the wishes of Roger Goodell.
Pryor shouldn't have been suspended, just as Tressel shouldn't be, either. Their transgressions violated the rules of amateurism, which clearly doesn't apply to the NFL. But the NFL will take the backlash when Tressel walks, and the stupidity of the decision to suspend Pryor will be even more evident than it was before.
Now can we all get back to real football?