Focus turns to Terrelle Pryor and cars

Other than the finality of Jim Tressel's resignation, an outcome many considered inevitable but still shocking and significant, the most important takeaway from a historic Memorial Day in Columbus concerned Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor and cars.

As you know by now, the NCAA and Ohio State have launched a new and reportedly significant investigation into Pryor and allegations he has received cars and other extra benefits as a Buckeye.

From The Columbus Dispatch:

Pryor and the cars he drives have been an issue since he arrived on campus three years ago. Pryor has been connected to more than a half dozen vehicles during his time at Ohio State, according to sources.

The quarterback likely didn't help matters Monday night when he showed up to a team meeting at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center in a Nissan 350z with, yep, temporary dealer tags dated May 24.

I couldn't believe it, either.

Check out Pryor's new ride here. A throng of reporters was on hand to document the meeting -- as well as Pryor and his wheels.

WBNS-TV Columbus reports that Pryor drove a different car -- a 2009 Dodge Challenger with dealer license plates -- from late March through mid-April.

From the WBNS report:

Traffic tickets showed that Pryor was pulled over at least three times in the past several years, driving cars that belonged to dealerships.

Needless to say, there's a lot of smoke here and Pryor will need to provide some answers to NCAA and school officials.

He already faces a five-game suspension for selling memorabilia to tattoo parlor owner Edward Rife. The car situation could lead to further penalties.

Until now, I've maintained that Ohio State still will enter the season as one of the top contenders to win a Big Ten title. I've also counted on Pryor returning to the field Oct. 8 against Nebraska in Lincoln.

If Pryor is sidelined for the season, Ohio State's challenge becomes significantly tougher. So while a lot of folks are criticizing Pryor for his role (perceived or real) in Tressel's downfall, I'm sure Buckeyes fans are holding their breath that the latest news doesn't prevent the quarterback from taking the field.