Pryor not the root of Ohio State’s problems

22 06 2011

There was a question on ESPN’s SportsNation last week – and I’m sure the same question is being asked on radio and TV shows nationwide – of whether Terrelle Pryor was right to apologize for his actions at Ohio State. To phrase it better, SportsNation asked if Pryor should have apologized. I don’t think he should have.

There’s no need for Pryor to be the one to apologize because he didn’t bring that culture of deceit and dishonesty to Columbus. That would be Jim Tressel, whose proclivity to look the other way when players received illegal benefits was documented in Sports Illustrated. What does an apology mean, anyway? I’ve never understood why people, in general, place so much importance on someone else apologizing. Words aren’t necessarily sincere.

I don’t claim to be a body language expert. In fact, I probably fuck up half the judgements I make on athletes when I watch them and try to assess what they’re thinking or feeling. But in watching Pryor, in seeing him talk on TV about his transgressions and how he feels about them, I don’t get the feeling that he’s sincerely apologetic. I think he’s pissed off that he got caught doing what he did, likely because he knows plenty other guys around the country who do the same things Ohio State players have been accused of doing. Whether he apologizes just isn’t something that I think should be valued.

Frankly, what good does an apology do for people? It won’t change the circumstances of his life or the status of Ohio State’s football team. Sure, he has to accept a certain level of responsibility because he was the most well-known player on the Buckeyes. Yet he’s not the guy that has to take the fall for what happened at Ohio State. That should go to those managing the chaos – Tressel and Ohio State’s athletic department.

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