Pryor's 5-game suspension upheld by NFL

Terrelle Pryor's five-game suspension has been upheld by the NFL.

Commissioner Roger Goodell notified the Oakland Raiders quarterback on Friday that his appeal to overturn the suspension was denied.

In his decision, Goodell wrote it was fair to conclude Pryor "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."

The commissioner, who heard Pryor's appeal on September 15, said the quarterback's actions were "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."

Pryor, who signed a four-year contract with Oakland after he was picked in the supplemental draft, is eligible to be activated by the Raiders following their Week 5 game at Houston on October 9.

The former Ohio State star reversed his original position not to appeal any penalty handed down by NFL for the memorabilia scandal that got him in trouble in college and eventually led to the resignation of Buckeyes head coach Jim Tressel.

The quarterback left Ohio State rather than serve a five-game suspension given by the NCAA.

The NFL, in a move that received much attention, applied that penalty in an effort to discourage players from leaving college under similar circumstances as Pryor's.

Goodell said in his decision Friday that Pryor took steps to hasten the day when he could start a lucrative NFL career by leaving college and avoiding the consequences of conducted he had admitted to.

"This smacks of a calculated effort to manipulate our eligibility rules in a way that undermines the integrity of, and public confidence in, those rules," Goodell said.

The commissioner said, in his judgement, what Pryor tried to do reflects poorly on college football and the NFL "by making it into a sanctuary where a player cannot only avoid the consequences of his conduct, but be paid for doing so."