Dec 28, 2009, 2:00 PM EDT
Fact: Landing in the Rose Bowl will net the Big Ten Conference $18 million. The game is a contractual sellout, and individual tickets are going for $145 … not to mention the boon to the Los Angeles economy. A cash cow for all involved. Except for the players, of course.
Meanwhile, Ohio State’s best player, quarterback Terrelle Pryor, was kicked out of a team function at a Beverley Hills restaurant by head coach Jim Tressel for wearing jeans. Because if there’s anything that’s not at all antiquated and foolish in this day and age, it’s college sports dress codes. Let’s see … Bernie Madoff dressed pretty well, didn’t he? And Jesus Christ was a little less formal. Which would you want your son to emulate?
The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that Pryor, defensive lineman Doug Worthington and junior defensive end Thaddeus Gibson were shooed off the team bus on Sunday because they were wearing jeans, and not the more formal pants required per Tressel’s dress code. The players missed Ohio State’s dinner at Lawry’s, a prime rib restaurant in Beverly Hills that hosts a traditional Rose Bowl week meal.
“I just didn’t think it should have been a big deal about it,” Pryor said. “Some of my teammates said it wasn’t as classy as it was supposed to be. But Coach Tress is a classy guy and what he wants we have to do. We just forgot our pants. Nothing against the team or anything like that. I apologize to the team we didn’t make. I’m kind of mad we missed a good meal, a free meal at that.”
Instead, Pryor said he went with Worthington and Gibson to a nearby mall and had some prime rib there.
Yes, Pryor is the best player on a team that generated $36M in profit for Ohio State last year, essentially paying for all other sports teams at the school save men’s hoops. Yes, Ohio State will sell thousands of Pryor #2 jerseys this season. Yes, Pryor’s play will ultimately inspire many non-athletes to enroll at the school. And yes, Pryor’s a big reason why Ohio State will enjoy an $18M(!) Rose Bowl payout this year.
But, he was wearing jeans.
I have no problem with a team dress code, but when college athletes generate as much revenue as they do in football and basketball, it’s a little absurd for someone like Tressel to bar Pryor from a team function for wearing jeans.
Simply put; when a man who routinely wears a sweater vest is telling you how you must dress, it’s time for a revolt.
Wrong pants led Ohio State coach Jim Tressel to bar Terrelle Pryor and other Buckeyes from prime rib meal [Cleveland Plain Dealer]
Pryor: Makes Millions For OSU, Can’t Wear Jeans [SportsbyBrooks]
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