Ohio State, NCAA Open Investigation Into Terrelle Pryor
Ohio State and the NCAA have opened a separate investigation into quarterback Terrelle Pryor about whether he received cars and extra benefits.
Depending on the conclusion of the investigation, Pryor's future on the team is in doubt.
Pryor will serve a five-game suspension at the start of the 2011 season after he admitted selling memorabilia in exchange for cash and improper benefits.
Records obtained by 10 Investigates showed that Pryor owns a 2006 Dodge Charger. However, video taken by 10 Investigates showed Pryor entering a 2009 Dodge Challenger with dealer license plates, 10 Investigates' Paul Aker reported.
The 2009 vehicle was tracked to Auto Direct, located at 2300 E. Dublin-Granville Rd.
NCAA rules prohibit players from getting free access to cars because of their status as players.
10 Investigates spotted Pryor in the performance car from late March through mid-April at his home, around Columbus and at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, where the football team practices.
Traffic tickets showed that Pryor was pulled over at least three times in the past several years, driving cars that belonged to dealerships, Aker reported.
One of the vehicles was a GMC Denali that belonged to car salesman Aaron Kniffin. In the past, Kniffin and Pryor denied any wrongdoing involving the vehicle. Kniffin recently told 10 Investigates that he gave Pryor the Denali because he wanted to trade his Hyundai and planned to take the Denali to Pennsylvania to show his mother.
"(Pryor) drove the vehicle home to Pennsylvania and drove the vehicle back after he discussed it with the family and they felt it wasn't in his best interest," Kniffin said.
Pryor was ticketed in another loaner vehicle. The vehicle was from Auto Direct, according to Kniffin, even though Pryor had never bought a car there.
"I worked (at Auto Direct) at the time and I had met (Pryor) through other players," Kniffin said. "(Pryor) had come in and looked at numerous cars."
More than two years later, 10 Investigates found the same Auto Direct dealer number that was on Pryor's traffic tickets was on the license plate of the Dodge Challenger that Pryor was driving in the spring.
Auto Direct owner Jason Goss denied any wrongdoing to Aker and would not answer questions as to why Pryor was driving the vehicle. Goss said that he verbally notified university officials.
Pryor declined 10 Investigates' repeated requests to discuss his vehicles. Late last week, his roommate told Aker that Pryor's car blew an engine a few weeks earlier.
On Monday night, Ohio State spokesman Jim Lynch sent a response to 10 Investigates' questions about the issue, saying, "The university continues to work with the NCAA as they investigate matters involving our football program and we will continue to do so until the conclusion of the investigation. We are unable to comment on specific players' situations because of federal law."
Bret Adams, a Columbus-based sports agent, said that the investigation surrounding Pryor will surely force the NCAA to investigate.
"This is something that's very serious," Adams said. "They're going to take a hard look at the source of this vehicle."
Pryor's attorney declined comment, citing the need for confidentiality because of the NCAA investigation.
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May 31, 2011: Report: NCAA, Ohio State Investigating Terrelle Pryor