Ohio State announced today that Terrelle Pryor would not be returning for his senior year at the school. No reason for the star quarterback’s departure was given at the time by OSU Athletic Director Gene Smith or current interim football coach Luke Fickell.
In addition to Pryor’s past NCAA transgressions, today I confirmed that Ohio State was recently cited by NCAA enforcment officials for dozens of payments Pryor received in past years from a Columbus sports memorabilia dealer that are considered outside of NCAA rules.
The NCAA violations were discovered when the name of the local memorabilia dealer, Dennis Talbott, was seen on checks Pryor was depositing in his personal bank account.
During Pryor’s time at Ohio State, Talbott paid him tens of thousands of dollars to sign Ohio State Buckeye memorabilia. Talbott currently lists a Pryor-signed item for sale on his Ebay sellers account, which is identified by the account name “infickellwetrust.”
Talbott, who has sold hundreds of sports memorabilia items on Ebay, recently switched to that account name from his old handle: “ntresselwetrust.” Talbott currently lists 250 items for sale on the auction site, including Ohio State Buckeye football memorabilia.
Talbott, who also happens to be a professional sports photographer who has shot images appearing on SI.com and ESPN.com, often obtained media credentials from Ohio State officials that gave him undue access to Buckeye football players.
Midway through the 2010 football season, Talbott was ordered by Ohio State officials to completely disassociate himself from the program. That move by the OSU athletic administration may indicate that members of the school’s athletic department knew of Pryor’s activities involving Talbott long before the NCAA recently discovered the payment paper trail from Talbott to the former Buckeye quarterback.