“In the best interest of my teammates, I have made the decision to forgo my senior year of football at The Ohio State University,” Pryor said in statement released by Larry James.
James said Pryor would evaluate his options about his final year of eligibility.”I think he’s going to take the next couple of days to come to grips with all of this,” James told USA TODAY. “Obviously, he would like (to be drafted in the NFL’s supplemental draft) to happen, but right now, it is, ‘What does he do next.” Right now, he has an interest in staying in school and finishing. He has an interest in going in the supplemental draft if that is a probability.”
Pryor is suspended for the first five games of the 2011 season for receiving impermissible benefits. He is required to serve that penalty at any NCAA school. If he goes to another FBS school, he would sit out the 2011 season before missing games in 2012. He could play immediately after the suspension if he transfers to a lower-division school. Another possibility is going to an NAIA school.
The decision by Pryor to leave school comes eight days after the resignation of Ohio State coach Jim Tressel.
“The coach is gone and he and the coach were very close,” James said. “It’s just a series of events. The atmosphere right now is just not healthy moving forward. He’s going to talk with some family members on what he should do.”