Andy Gottesman / The Lantern
Terrelle Pryor’s Buckeye career began when he uttered the words “University of Ohio State” at a March 19, 2008, press conference to announce his college choice.
His Buckeye career ended Tuesday, about seven months earlier than many would have imagined three years ago.
An Ohio State athletic department spokesman confirmed to The Lantern Tuesday that Pryor’s career at the university is finished.
Pryor’s attorney Larry James also said that the quarterback would not return for his senior season. Pryor has been at the center of ongoing controversy at OSU throughout the offseason.
“In the best interest of my teammates, I’ve made the decision to forgo my senior year of football at the Ohio State University,” Pryor said in a statement through his attorney to The Lantern.
James said Pryor hadn’t made a decision on what his next move will be.
“He’s going to take the next few days and collect,” James told The Lantern.
Interim head coach Luke Fickell said he learned of Pryor’s decision Tuesday evening.
“We understand Terrelle’s decision and wish him well in this next phase of his life,” athletic director Gene Smith said in a statement. “We hope he returns to The Ohio State University one day to finish his degree.”
The NCAA suspended Pryor, running back Dan Herron, receiver DeVier Posey, offensive lineman Mike Adams and defensive end Solomon Thomas for the first five games of the upcoming season for selling memorabilia and receiving improper benefits from Eddie Rife, owner of Fine Line Ink tattoo parlor. Linebacker Jordan Whiting earned a one-game ban.
Though OSU spokesman Jim Lynch – citing the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act – would not confirm, multiple reports have indicated that the university is investigating Pryor’s dealings with cars.
James said Pryor’s mother, Thomasina Pryor, purchased a Hyundai Sonata in 2008 for her son, then a high school senior in Jeanette, Pa. James said the car died sometime during the first year and a half, and was traded in for a Dodge Charger, for which Thomasina also paid. When the Charger began having problems, Pryor traded it in for about $7,800, and purchased a Nissan 350Z for about $11,000 after trade-in.
“The monthly payments are $289,” James said. “That is about a nickel difference between the Charger and the 350Z.”
Pryor drove three or four loaner cars while the Charger was being serviced, James said.
Pryor arrived at a team meeting May 30 – the day coach Jim Tressel resigned – in the Nissan 350Z, despite having his license suspended. James said Pryor’s license has since been reinstated.
Pryor won the Rose Bowl MVP in 2010 and passed for 266 yards and two touchdowns as the Buckeyes defeated Oregon, 26-17. He threw for 221 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 115 yards in OSU’s 31-26 win against Arkansas in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 4.
Potential replacements for Pryor include freshman Braxton Miller and redshirt senior Joe Bauserman. The Buckeyes open the season at home against Akron on Sept. 3.
Michael Periatt, Jay Clouse and Matt Edwards contributed to this story.