- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 8, 2011

COLUMBUS, OHIO (AP) - The NCAA took the first five games of Terrelle Pryor’s senior season. Now he’s given up the rest.

The Ohio State quarterback announced through his attorney Tuesday that he would not play for the Buckeyes this upcoming season. He had already been suspended through September for breaking NCAA rules by accepting improper benefits from the owner of a tattoo parlor.

Pryor was reflective about his decision to quit the college game, said his lawyer, Larry James.

“You know how sometimes you have the weight of the world on your shoulders and then something like this takes a little bit off?’ James said. “He’s still only 21.”

The most likely next step for Pryor would be an NFL supplemental draft.

“I would hope so. Also, he would hope so,” said James, who said Pryor was not speaking publicly. “But he’s going to take the next couple of days to get his head together.”

The Cleveland Plain Dealer first reported Pryor’s announcement.

It was news that was met with surprisingly happy faces by downtrodden Ohio State fans. After coach Jim Tressel’s forced departure last week, Pryor has served as a lightning rod as the NCAA looked into all aspects of the once-glittering program.

In addition to the acknowledged violations _ cash and tattoos to players _ are rumors of cars deals for athletes and other potential violations. And Pryor has been in the middle of all that swirling controversy.

Pryor’s announcement comes just eight days after Tressel was forced to resign for knowing about the players’ improper benefits, but not telling any of his superiors.

“(Pryor) did not want to be a distraction to his teammates,” James said. “This is something he came to consider after much thought.”

Ohio State will go before the NCAA’s committee on infractions on Aug. 12.

With Pryor no longer a college football player, he is not obligated to meet with the NCAA. James would not comment on whether Pryor would continue to cooperate with the sanctioning body of college sports.

Ohio State’s athletic director Gene Smith quickly issued a statement wishing Pryor the best.

“We understand Terrelle’s decision and wish him well in this next phase of his life,” Smith said. “We hope he returns to The Ohio State University one day to finish his degree.”

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