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Michigan

Pryor’s Exit, Buckeyes’ Downfall ‘Surreal’ To Former Lion Spielman

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COLUMBUS, OH - NOVEMBER 27:  Quarterback Terrelle Pryor #2 of the Ohio State Buckeyes looks for his receiver against the Michigan Wolverines at Ohio Stadium on November 27, 2010 in Columbus, Ohio.  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

COLUMBUS, OH – NOVEMBER 27: Quarterback Terrelle Pryor #2 of the Ohio State Buckeyes looks for his receiver against the Michigan Wolverines at Ohio Stadium on November 27, 2010 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

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Chris Spielman had a couple of minutes to talk while watching his daughter play softball Tuesday night. He didn’t need much time to process the latest blow against Ohio State’s program, reputation and future.

Terrelle Pryor did what reputable football players — Leaders and Legends they tend to call them in the Big Ten — never do. Ever. Terrelle Pryor quit. He quit on his teammates and the fans. The morally bankrupt kid quit on himself. He didn’t even have the stones to show his face in public and say it himself. He did it through his lawyer with a statement, apparently leaving Columbus with more cars than guts.

Pryor came to Columbus to play in a pro-style offense. He left it as a pro, if the compensation from selling memorabilia to a scumbag tattoo parlor owner is only the beginning of what the NCAA will eventually uncover. You don’t punt your career in June because the supplemental draft is suddenly so attractive. You leave because the alternative would have meant NCAA crucifixion or worse: disgrace. It’s possible that after winning three Big Ten titles, Pryor’s off-field conduct got to be too much for interim coach Luke Fickell.

Note to prospective NFL employers: Skip the player interview, go right to the game film. You can be sure it doesn’t lie.

First, Tressel. Then, Pryor. Ohio State cannot jettison baggage fast enough. It’s so bad that .828 (Jim Tressel’s winning percentage) and 31-4 (Pryor’s record as a starter) were not worth keeping. If you believe they left of their own free will at this point, you’re on something. It’s clear now that what we don’t know means Ohio State should be preparing for some long, cold, nuclear winters.

“You don’t know how long it’s going to take to dig out,” said Spielman, whose greatness as a Buckeye is surpassed only by his greatness as a man. “I wouldn’t be surprised if they get USC-like sanctions.”

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