In December 2010, Ohio State football was rocked by scandal when five players, including star quarterback Terrelle Pryor, were found to have sold memorabilia in exchange for impermissible benefits from a local tattoo parlor. The scandal, which seems pretty quaint now, wound up taking down the career of national championship-winning head coach Jim Tressel.
In light of the new Name, Image, and Likeness rules for college athletes, which allows them to make money off of their talents, Pryor and his four teammates want the record changed. As the tattoo scandal likely wouldn’t have played out this way under the current rules, and public perception of players being paid has changed drastically over the last 10 years.
“The affirmation of NCAA athletes’ right to make a living from their name, image, and likeness is a huge step in the right direction,” the statement from the “Tattoo 5” reads. “Armed with the correct resources and support, we know they’ll show what we felt to be true all along – not letting athletes capitalize on what ultimately is their hard work was unjust and unnecessary.
“Now that fundamental right has been granted to a new generation of athletes. Now they finally have the freedoms to share in some of the millions of dollars in revenue they generate for their coaches, their institutions, their conferences, and the NCAA as a whole, we would like to see our hard won accomplishments reinstated.”
The time has come @NCAA@OSU_AD@OhioStAthletics@Channel75live@DPo8@BOOMHERRON1#solomonThomas@AdamSchefter we should get our wins back records back and legacy of @JimTressel5 back and not looked past it! NCAA suspended us but let us play in the sugar bowl win vs Arkansas pic.twitter.com/pGpEvJCbx5
— Terrelle Pryor SR (@TerrellePryor) July 13, 2021
Pryor, Daniel “Boom” Herron, DeVier Posey, Solomon Thomas, and Mike Adams want their many accolades, and those of Tressel, to be restored. They say it would be a “big step in the right direction” towards making up for what they’ve endured over the last decade.
“The 2010 Ohio State football team earned a 12-1 record, won a Big Ten Championship, won a Sugar Bowl, produced a top-5 career all-time passer (Terrelle Pryor), a top-5 career all-time receiver (DeVier Posey), a top-10 career all-time rusher (Daniel “Boom” Herron), and an All-American (Mike Adams) all for it to be wiped unceremoniously from the record books.
“We are calling for our school records and legacy to be restored so that Buckeye Nation can look at us with the same love and fondness that we’ve always had for them.”
We’ve seen a similar push from Reggie Bush, who had to give up his Heisman Trophy years after receiving impermissible benefits. So far, it is unclear how the NCAA plans to deal with these issues, but it seems fair to restore legacies that modern rules would never have marred.