NFL upholds five-game suspension of Pryor

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell upheld the five-game suspension of Oakland Raiders rookie quarterback Terrelle Pryor on Friday, stating that the former Ohio State quarterback, who had been suspended by the NCAA, had attempted a "deliberate manipulation" of the league's eligibility rules.

"Based on Mr. Pryor’s actions, I believe it is a fair conclusion that he intentionally took steps to ensure that he would be declared ineligible for further college play and would be able to enter the NFL via the Supplemental Draft. Taken as a whole, I found that this conduct was tantamount to a deliberate manipulation of our eligibility rules in a way that distorts the underlying principles and calls into question the integrity of those rules,” the commissioner's office said in a statement.

Pryor and his agent Drew Rosenhaus had accepted a five-game suspension when the Raiders picked the quarterback on Aug. 22 in the third round of the supplemental draft. Goodell made the decision that Pryor would be suspended for five games, the same length of the NCAA ban he would have served at Ohio State, and at the time said he accepted the decision. However, later Pryor decided to appeal to have the suspension reduced or overturned.

The NFL Players Association has filed a greivance regarding Goodell having the power to suspend a player for conduct in college when that player was not yet under the NFL's jurisdiction.

Pryor will be eligible to return after the Raiders' game on Oct. 9 against the Houston Texans.

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Terry McCormick covers the Titans for

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