ShareThis Page

Batch weighs in on Pryor suspension

| Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2011

Steelers quarterback Charlie Batch felt that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell had too much power when it came to disciplining players before the new collective bargaining agreement, and nothing has changed his mind.

Batch, a member of the NFLPA's executive committee and a 13-year veteran, feels that Goodell went too far and set a bad precedent when he suspended Jeannette's Terrelle Pryor five games before allowing him to be eligible for last week's supplemental draft.

"He took it to another level when he said he was going to suspend Terrelle Pryor for five games and he wasn't even in the NFL last year," said Batch, who has been mentoring Pryor for years. "How can you do that• It's not right. It's not right at all."

Pryor and his counsel accepted the deal put together by Goodell and NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith so that the former Ohio State quarterback would not have to sit out an entire year.

Pryor was initially slated for a five-game suspension at Ohio State for receiving improper benefits before he decided to leave the school.

"I know players are concerned about the message this sends," executive committee member and Browns linebacker Scott Fujita said last week. "The general concern now is how far into Pandora's box this may go. This raises so many questions, and I think players are rightfully concerned."

Pryor must sit out the first five regular-season games and not practice with the team during that span. Pryor was selected in the third round of the supplemental draft and signed a four-year, $2.7 million deal. He said that he would not appeal the five-game suspension.

Batch offered his opinion to Pryor.

"I told Terrelle what he should do. I am not going to tell you what I told him, but I told him what he should do," Batch said. "Whatever the Raiders want him to do, that is what they will do."

The Steelers were the only one of 32 NFL teams that voted against the collective bargaining agreement in August, in large part because of the control Goodell had over discipline issues.

Even though Goodell recently decided against suspending both Tampa Bay cornerback Aqib Talib and Tennessee receiver Kenny Britt, Batch said that Goodell had no choice in the matter.

Talib is facing charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Britt was arrested twice in New Jersey and had two arrest warrants in Tennessee during the lockout.

"We made one statement (as the NFLPA) and that statement was, 'You made the rules, you locked us out,' so how can you enforce your personal conduct policy?" Batch said. "How can you suspend somebody when he is not found guilty, but he chose to find a way to do that. I think he has too much leverage with his personal conduct policy because there are no rules."

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.