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Thursday, May 10, 2012

Terrelle Pryor addresses scandal - Josh Hamilton

Terrelle Pryor addresses scandal Terrelle Pryor is trying to put his past behind him and become a successful NFL quarterback. But he's not finished talking about what happened at Ohio State. “The reason why I did it was to pay my mother's gas bill and some of her rent. I was telling the NCAA, 'Please, anything that you can do. I gave my mother this so my sister wouldn't be cold, so my mother wouldn't be cold.' They didn't have any sympathy for me. ”-- Terrelle Pryor Pryor, now with the Oakland Raiders, received a five-game suspension in his final season with the Buckeyes for selling memorabilia. Nearly a full year later, Pryor, in an interview with Sports Illustrated, opened up about the decisions he made and the reasons why he made them. "It was humbling," Pryor told Sports Illustrated. "A mistake I made when I was a freshman by selling my pants for $3,000 just took away everything from me. I was just driven into the ground. I was the worst person in the world. My face popped up on the screen, and it seemed like I was the only one who did anything. I was the only one who was getting attacked. "At that point last year, I'm 21 and it just felt like everything was against me, like I can't do anything right. I did something to help somebody else out, and I end up getting into trouble. I understand. I shouldn't have sold the stuff and taken $3,000. But I was kind of in a place where I didn't understand why this is happening to me -- especially for the reason that I did it." Pryor was suspended for the first five games of last season and then decided to enter the NFL supplemental draft, where he was chosen by the Raiders. He was later banned from associating with Ohio State for five years. Bennett: Two Sides To This Story Terrelle Pryor is not necessarily a villain, but ESPN.com's Brian Bennett hopes the current Oakland Raider has learned some important lessons in the last year. Blog Pryor said he chose to take money in exchange for memorabilia to help his family. "The reason why I did it was to pay my mother's gas bill and some of her rent," Pryor told Sports Illustrated. "She was four months behind in rent, and the (landlord) was so nice because he was an Ohio State fan. He gave her the benefit of the doubt and she said, 'My son will pay you back sometime if you just let me pay you back during my work sessions.' She ended up losing her job, and she and my sister lived there. "Let me remind you it was freezing cold in November, December and she's using the oven as heat. That's what I did as a kid. I was telling the NCAA, 'Please, anything that you can do. I gave my mother this so my sister wouldn't be cold, so my mother wouldn't be cold.' They didn't have any sympathy for me." Pryor also said he has documentation in the form of a receipt, proving the money went toward his family's bills and not personal use. "Whenever I write my book, the proof will be in there, the receipt that the money I gave my mother was to pay the electric and heat bill," Pryor told Sports Illustrated. "The truth is going to come out one day when the time is right. I don't think I deserved (being punished) in that way, because of the reason I was doing it. I felt like I was doing God's work in a way, and I was getting driven into the ground."
Day after 4-homer game, Hamilton says he can play anywhere
BALTIMORE -- On the day after the greatest one-night display of hitting in American League history, Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton, a potential free agent at the end of the season, delivered a message in response to media speculation that leaving Texas would create complications because of his substance abuse history: he can play anywhere. In comments to me Wednesday during an interview for MLB Tonight on MLB Network, Hamilton said, "I'm under contract for the Rangers for this year and I'm going out just like any other year, giving everything I got, playing hard and ... but I am getting tired of hearing people say, 'It's complicated.' "When they say it's complicated, you know, I got a guy, I come to the field and play baseball and then my life is my life. My family's my life, my relationship with Christ is my life. None of that's going to change if I'm not playing in Texas. I don't get what's complicated." This is Hamilton's fifth season with the Rangers. As part of his support group the club provides a counselor to be with him at all times. The Rangers and Hamilton engaged in talks last winter toward a contract extension, but when Hamilton suffered a well-publicized alcohol relapse the two sides agreed to put those talks on hold. Hamilton did say he would "love to" remain a Ranger. "Our relationship is a deep relationship, the Rangers and mine," he said. "We've done a lot together, you know, they've supported me through certain things which is a great thing. It's great to have an employer that really cares for you as a person, not just for what you can do for them but what they can do for you and your family. That's well received on both ends." Hamilton continued, "My teammates are phenomenal, obviously, you know, they understand what I've been through. I think that is unique, that they respect the fact that I choose not to partake in any celebrations with drinking or anything like that. You know, I get paid to play the game and no matter where that's at, you know, for me? I'll be fine. Would I love to stay in Texas? Absolutely. But if I don't, I'm going to be OK." On Tuesday night in Baltimore, Hamilton became only the 16th player in major league history to hit four home runs in a game. He also doubled, giving him an AL record 18 total bases. Dating to his last plate appearance Monday, Hamilton entered Wednesday with extra-base hits in six straight plate appearances: home run, home run, home run, double, home run, home run. The streak is one short of the major league record. He entered Wednesday leading the league in all Triple Crown categories, as well as on-base percentage and slugging percentage. Hamilton obtained two of the four baseballs he hit for home runs and gave his jersey and helmet to the Hall of Fame. But Hamilton drew the line when the Hall asked for his bat. "No way," he said. "I'm not giving that up until it cracks." After the record-setting game, Hamilton returned to his hotel room with his counselor, Shayne Kelley, and stayed up until "about three in the morning" answering phone calls and texts and watching highlights from the game "five or six times," he said. Hamilton said he was unaware of the true historical importance of the four home runs, saying, "I didn't follow baseball that much as a kid. ... Once you talk to the media after it's done and get back away from it, it really kind of starts to sink in, and just what an amazing accomplishment it was." The Texas outfielder said he was helped by pregame weather in Baltimore that caused the Rangers to take batting practice in the indoor cage rather than on the field. Without the distraction of watching ball flight and carry, Hamilton said he simply concentrated on making pure contact in the cage. "I felt better on pitch recognition last night than I have during the season so far," he said. "I'm the best player when I get out of my own way and just go out there and fun."

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