• NFL's latest mess is Bernie Kosar's fault

    The NFL has postponed the supplemental draft because no one can decide if Terrelle Pryor is eligible, which begs the question, why does someone have to be 'eligible' for the draft? Why not just let anyone in that missed the first draft?

    In 1985, there were no underclassmen in the NFL draft. A player could only be drafted if he had either finished his four years of college eligibility or had graduated. Miami Hurricanes quarterback Bernie Kosar had two years of eligibility remaining, but graduated early and announced that he would enter the draft. He also announced that he wanted to play for his hometown team, the Browns.

    The Bills had the #1 overall pick and signed DE Bruce Smith several weeks before the draft. The Vikings sent a couple of picks to the Oilers to move from #3 to #2 to take Kosar. The same day that the Vikings traded up, so did the Browns sending 4 picks, including 1st rounders in '85 and '86, to the Bills for the 1st overall pick in the supplemental draft. This was still several weeks before the regular draft and, in theory, no one knew who would be in the supplemental draft. But the Browns did know, they were told by Kosar's agent that he would skip the regular draft if the Browns could get the first pick in the supplemental draft. After the April 15th deadline, Kosar's agent announced that they had missed the filing deadline and that he would go in the supplemental draft. Commissioner Rozelle extended the deadline by a day. Kosar still didn't file.

    The Vikings, of course, cried foul. The commissioner met with all 4 teams involved, Bills, Browns, Vikings and Oilers, and eventually ruled that no rules had been broken and Kosar was free to wait until the supplemental draft. There was clearly evidence of collusion between Kosar and the Browns and still time to force Kosar to enter the regular draft or sit out a year, so why did Rozelle rule in his favor? 1985 was the height of the USFL's raid on college players. Herschel Walker and Doug Flutie had already signed with the USFL. I'm sure that the threat of Kosar jumping to the new league played a large part in the decision to allow him to handpick his team.

    After the 1985 debacle the NFL made a rule that picks in the supplemental draft couldn't be traded for picks in the regular draft. They also created a peudo-lottery for the supplemental draft, no longer awarding picks in the same order as the regular draft. But those rule changes didn't quite solve the problem. In 1987 Brian Bosworth skipped the regular draft because he didn't want to play for the Colts or Bills, who had the top 2 picks. A flurry of 'missed the deadline' players in the late 80's (Steve Walsh, Timm Rosenbach, Bobby Humphrey, Rob Moore) led to the current rule, only players who had planned to attend college, but couldn't for various reasons (academically ineligible, failed drug test, kicked off team) are eligible for the supplemental draft.

    So where does that leave Terrelle Pryor? Since 2003, 8 players have been taken in the supplemental draft. 5 were academically ineligible, 1 was kicked off his team, 1 tested positive for a banned substance and 1, BYU RB Harvey Unga, left school voluntarily after violating the schools honor code. Pryor, like Unga, left school voluntarily. So is the NFL now in the business of deciding what is an acceptable reason for leaving school? If he hadn't announced his intention to go to the NFL and had instead just quit going to classes, he would be in this draft without question. So if the NFL keeps Terrelle Pryor out, are they forcing kids to get kicked out of school if they want to be drafted? If they let him in, are they opening the door for players to use the supplemental draft to manipulate the system?

    Comments 30 Comments
    1. Ragar's Avatar
      Unga's situation is completely different as most recent Honor Code violations at BYU have resulted in dismissal from the team of participation, or suspension for a year. Unga beat them to the punch to leave before the dismissal or suspension, which I'm sure was clarified in Unga's "application" to teh NFL.

      The issue is at this point, Pryor was not dismissed from the team, nor ruled permanently ineligible, thus the NFL's dilema. In all likelihood, Pryor should be declared either ineligible, or suspended fromt eh team, but since it hasn't happened yet, the NFL is in a no-win situation as it cannot allow Pryor into teh supplemental draft based upoon the probability of suspension or inelibility, as it's posssible any other player could skirt the regular draft and declare after the normal draft that they "might" be ineligible (jsut like every Miami player) even though they ahve not been dismissed from their team or declared ineligible by the NCAA.

      Always recall that most rulings the NFL or other "public" companies make is based upon liklihood of future litigation, and the precedence of "might be" in this case is too high for the NFL to accept.
    1. mkocs6's Avatar
      God bless Bernie.
    1. Trumpetbdw's Avatar
      If they want to change the rules again to make it more difficult for players to utilize the supplemental draft, or to eliminate the supplemental draft altogether, fine. But as constituted, they should let Terrell Pryor in. His status at school, and his improprieties led to his leaving school especially when it became evident that more punishments were likely on their way, and his coach was axed following the declaration deadline for the entry draft.

      I think the NFL is coming across really poorly when it comes to this situation, and it seems that they're judging him for his character more than anything, which should have no bearing on his status.
    1. Polishguy00's Avatar
      I wanted to take the hard stance side. I just can't. I even wanted to give the, but he'll earn less money in the pros joke here, but I just can't. Why? Because I care less and less. Reading the NCAA bylaws this summer was one of the most enjoyable things I have ever done. It also ruined college sports (My love was eroding anyway, to be frank) for me. So, because I think the rules he chose not follow are stupid and the fact that he even needs a lawyer to argue his side is stupid, I say let them all in if they are not registered for classes at their school by a certain date as long as they would have been eligible to enter the previous draft.

      Does that open it up for there to be some guys declaring for supplemental drafts b/c their college QB broke his fibula and had his throwing arm explode in spring practice? Yeah, maybe. I am all for anarchy in the college game at this point.
    1. darvon's Avatar
      There should be no additional qualifications for the supplemental, just another deadline. If a punk kid can outsmart all those wise old men in Buffalo, shame on them.
    1. Dave Lapham's Avatar
      Hasn't it been announced that Pryor has been banned from any association with Ohio State football for 5 years? I know this happened after the fact, but does this tip the scales in his favor of being eligible for the NFL supplemental draft? How strange is it that Pryor accomplishing a banishment from any involvement with his former school's athletic deapartment "rewards" him with a stronger case for the NFL supplemental draft? Doesn't that sound odd and backward to you?
    1. darvon's Avatar
      Yep. Because the post-Kosar rules for the Supplemental made no sense.
    1. Ragar's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Dave Lapham View Post
      Hasn't it been announced that Pryor has been banned from any association with Ohio State football for 5 years? I know this happened after the fact, but does this tip the scales in his favor of being eligible for the NFL supplemental draft? How strange is it that Pryor accomplishing a banishment from any involvement with his former school's athletic deapartment "rewards" him with a stronger case for the NFL supplemental draft? Doesn't that sound odd and backward to you?
      I guess at this point has he been released (or really not renewed) his scholarship for the 2011-2012 year? Does anyone know before he voluntarily left school? If he had not received his scholarship for the school year, I agree that it is foolish for the NFL to not allow him into teh suplemental draft. If he was still on scholarship when he voluntarily left school, I would think that the NFL awaits a ruling from oine side or the other.
    1. darvon's Avatar
      IIUC, OSU unilaterally renews or fails to renew the next year scholarship. That probably comes after he completes his 2011-2012 FAFSA, which he didn't do if he left. I had to fill out the FAFSA in the summer, Junish, for my son. Probably OSU never renewed his scholarship, but didn't need to until July/Aug, after he had left.

      So which came first, his leaving or failure to renew by OSU? Leaving.
    1. Andy Freeland's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Dave Lapham View Post
      Hasn't it been announced that Pryor has been banned from any association with Ohio State football for 5 years? I know this happened after the fact, but does this tip the scales in his favor of being eligible for the NFL supplemental draft? How strange is it that Pryor accomplishing a banishment from any involvement with his former school's athletic deapartment "rewards" him with a stronger case for the NFL supplemental draft? Doesn't that sound odd and backward to you?
      Correct, I somehow missed that http://espn.go.com/college-football/...=ESPNHeadlines. The fact that he is banned from OSU athletics makes it even stranger. Ahmad Brooks was kicked off his team, Harvey Unga left voluntarily, both were eligible for the supplemental draft, but not Pryor? I don't get it.
    1. Pruitt's Avatar
      Don't you EVER blame Bernie Kosar for anything ever again.
    1. Fayld's Avatar
      I honestly think this is all just silly. Don't athletes have to declare their intent to be in the NFL draft some time in January or February? Prior hadn't been completely removed from OSU and was still going to play after serving his 5 game suspension. Tressel hadn't even been canned yet. This is open and shut. The fact that the NFL is attempting to keep a guy out who will end up being a 3rd round pick that is already behind the 8 ball because he is SO far behind the rest of the rookies is insane.

      It seems to me that by dragging its feet, the NFL is begging to get sued. They lose that lawsuit (which they would), it really COULD open up the doors for players to take the Kosar route. The precedent Prior set basically says "take benefits you aren't supposed to, get caught for one set of infractions, get suspended, then when more news comes out and you get suspended from the school enter the draft."

      I liked your article Andy, I just can't for the life of me figure out why the NFL would bother with this stance.
    1. Docta's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Pruitt View Post
      Don't you EVER blame Bernie Kosar for anything ever again.
      I blame him for Weekend at Bernie's II.
    1. Docta's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Fayld View Post
      I honestly think this is all just silly. Don't athletes have to declare their intent to be in the NFL draft some time in January or February? Prior hadn't been completely removed from OSU and was still going to play after serving his 5 game suspension. Tressel hadn't even been canned yet. This is open and shut. The fact that the NFL is attempting to keep a guy out who will end up being a 3rd round pick that is already behind the 8 ball because he is SO far behind the rest of the rookies is insane.
      The deadlines are different for the Supplemental draft, since underclassmen aren't allowed in the actual NFL draft. And OSU said they were going to change it to a full season suspension so that he would be eligible.
    1. Andy Freeland's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Docta View Post
      I blame him for Weekend at Bernie's II.
      That's a terrible thing to say about anyone. Even joking, it's just going too far.
    1. Docta's Avatar
      I wasn't mocking that he's dead, I was just mocking their name. I saw the first movie, and liked it, but never decided to watch the second one.

      EDIT: Looks like Kosar's not dead yet.
    1. Andy Freeland's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Docta View Post
      I wasn't mocking that he's dead, I was just mocking their name. I saw the first movie, and liked it, but never decided to watch the second one.

      EDIT: Looks like Kosar's not dead yet.
      I was joking. I was referring to the fact that Weekend at Bernies II is an absolutely horrible movie. Just mentioning some in conjunction with that movie is a horrible thing. Rashard Mendenhall and Adrian Peterson learned the hard way that there are certain things you just don't reference, I would add Weekend at Bernie's II to that list.

      (I wasn't referencing the things that they referenced, only referencing that they referenced those things. That's ok, right?).
    1. Docta's Avatar
      I need to remember that no one's ever serious on this site.
    1. Trumpetbdw's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Andy Freeland View Post
      I was joking. I was referring to the fact that Weekend at Bernies II is an absolutely horrible movie. Just mentioning some in conjunction with that movie is a horrible thing. Rashard Mendenhall and Adrian Peterson learned the hard way that there are certain things you just don't reference, I would add Weekend at Bernie's II to that list.

      (I wasn't referencing the things that they referenced, only referencing that they referenced those things. That's ok, right?).
      If by "horrible" you mean "greatest sequel ever involving a dead guy being portrayed as living" then I think you'd have a bunch of Raider fans nodding their heads in agreement right now.
    1. Andy Freeland's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Trumpetbdw View Post
      If by "horrible" you mean "greatest sequel ever involving a dead guy being portrayed as living" then I think you'd have a bunch of Raider fans nodding their heads in agreement right now.
      Pretty sure the next post will be a picture of Al Davis.
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