ESPN: Pryor Had Autograph Deal

The news keeps getting worse for Ohio State’s beleaguered football program.  On Tuesday, Terrelle Pryor announced he wouldn’t be back for his senior year.  Then, ESPN showed video of a former friend of the quarterback saying Pryor made thousands of dollars signing autographs for a local dealer.

The report, scheduled to air on the network’s Outside the Lines program, but released in part on Sports Center and online, said Pryor signed mini helmets and other items in exchange for cash.

The ex-friend, whose face wasn’t shown, told reporter Tom Farrey that the private autograph sessions took place three to four times each week and that he witnessed Dennis Talbott, a Columbus area businessman and freelance photographer, giving the player cash.  Such an arrangement would be a clear violation of NCAA rules.

The news comes in the wake of coach Jim Tressel’s resignation after several former players were accused of trading signed memorabilia for various types of compensation including tattoos.

ESPN’s report indicates that other players may have been part of a lucrative business–satisfying the demand from rabid Buckeye fans for autographs of  their college heroes.  Watch the Sports Center segment below.