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OSU QB Pryor's dad: 'He needed the money'

Jerry DiPaola
| Thursday, June 2, 2011

The father of embattled Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor said Wednesday his son traded Buckeyes memorabilia for money and tattoos for a reason.

"He needed the money," said Craig Pryor, who lives in Rostraver, Westmoreland County.

The NCAA suspended Terrelle Pryor and four teammates for the first five games of the upcoming season for their dealings with Columbus, Ohio, tattoo-parlor owner Edward Rife. In the wake of the resignation of former Ohio State coach Jim Tressel, Pryor also is under investigation by the NCAA for cars he has been driving while at Ohio State.

Craig Pryor said his son admits to "mistakes" in trading with Rife but added Terrelle has been unfairly singled out in the latter probe.

"Everyone is saying he took cars and whatnot," Craig Pryor said. "I don't know where all that is coming from. I don't see anybody asking anybody else, 'Where did you get your car?' "

The NCAA, in fact, is looking into more than 50 vehicle transactions involving Ohio State athletes, their families and friends and two dealerships in Columbus.

Craig Pryor said he and his wife, Toni, gave their son a Honda when he graduated from Jeannette in 2008. Asked about the Nissan 350Z Pryor was seen driving to a team meeting Monday, Craig Pryor said, "He traded his car in."

"He was never just given anything," the elder Pryor said. "Anything he has been given came from me or his mother."

Terrelle Pryor shouldn't be driving in Ohio at all, according to the state's Department of Public Safety. His driving privileges were suspended for 90 days, starting May 20, because he failed to produce proof of insurance when pulled over for a stop-sign violation Feb. 19 in Columbus.

"Our records do not indicate that (Pryor) has driving privileges in Ohio," said Lindsey Bohrer, spokeswoman for the public safety department.

Pryor paid a $141 fine and court costs April 2, but Ohio authorities say he never produced proof of insurance.

Pryor also was ticketed in November 2008 for driving 99 in a 65-mph zone and in March 2010 for driving 94 mph in a 65-mph zone, according to Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles records.

Pryor recently posted several messages on his Twitter account indicating remorse or need for resolve.

"There are two types of pain in life," he wrote in an April post. "1, the pain of discipline and 2, the pain of regrets. It's OK we are Human. Learn."

In another post two days earlier, he wrote: "In my 21 years of living, I've come to the conclusion that life is about overcoming obstacles that is thrown at us. We all have them."

Former Jeannette teammate Ryan Reitz, who said he exchanged text messages with Pryor on Tuesday, believes his friend received bad advice.

"Him being young, it all happened too fast: ESPN cameras, the fame," said Reitz, whose father, Ray, was Pryor's football coach at Jeannette. "I think he got steered the wrong way by people he thought cared about him, and I think it came back to hurt him."

Pryor repeatedly returns to the Jeannette area to visit friends and family. Two years ago, he spoke to Ray Reitz's Latrobe football team about the virtues of hard work, Ryan Reitz said.

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