The Car Addiction of Terrelle Pryor

Written June 2nd, 2011 by Eric

This article was made possible by some great work by blog friend Westy.

His only crime is an unfortunate love for GM cars.

It has been well known for years that Terrelle Pryor loves his cars.  Even before he arrived on campus for his freshman season he was pictured in front of a sweet black chevrolet that many took as a sign of wrong doing.

Of course, that was merely the beginning.  In the last few weeks, a number of sources have come out commenting about the possibility of illicit benefits provided by car dealers to OSU players – namely Terrelle Pryor.   By now, you’re probably familiar with the name Aaron Kniffin, the car dealer working for Jack Maxton Chevrolet who has supposedly provided sweet deals on cars for members of the football team.

In fact, the now famous Sports Illustrated article cited Pryor as having driven as many as 8 vehicles in his time in Columbus!  Now, I don’t know about you, but I haven’t driven 8 vehicles since the age of 16, let alone in the last three years.  SI clearly believed (and with good reason) that something was up.

An investigation into Pryor’s car ownership history has revealed the following timeline.

  • Terrelle Pryor arrived in Columbus in 2008 driving a Hyundai Sonata.
  • Pryor met Aaron Kniffin in his first year at school and informed him that he “wanted a better car”.
  • Kniffin loaned Pryor a 2004 GMC Yukon Denali – a common practice for car dealerships.  This is the vehicle Pryor was pulled over for speeding in while in Eastern Ohio.
  • Kniffin reports that Pryor didn’t purchase the vehicle because his family didn’t approve.
  • Pryor then traded his Sonata for a Black Dodge Charger.

But Pryor was recently seen driving a black Nissan 350Z.  Where did that car come from?

The Columbus Dispatch reported today that Pryor’s mother, Thomasina Pryor, purchased the vehicle for him.  That information was released yesterday by the family lawyer, Larry James, who produced a bill of sale for the car.

Pryor’s attorney, Larry James, yesterday released the bill of sale from Auto Direct showing Thomasina Pryor as the buyer. It also showed the car had 80,102 miles on it when they took possession more than a week ago, that the final price, after trade-in of his previous black Dodge Charger, was $11,435.06, and that his mother agreed to make monthly payments of $298.35 for the next 51 months.

If you do the math, you’ll find that Thomasina agreed to an interest rate of 14% on the car.  You read that right – not exactly a sweet-heart deal.

But why was Pryor seen driving a White Dodge Challenger?  Pryor’s roommate was reported as saying that Pryor’s Dodge Charger was in the shop with a blown engine.  The White Challenger was therefore a loaner from the dealership while his car was being worked on.

At this point is seems fairly mundane.  Pryor, driving a Dodge Charger for the better part of 2 years, has serious mechanical troubles with his vehicle.  He gets a loaner from the dealership.

At that point, it was probably apparent that the repairs were going to cost more than the Charger was worth.  A blown engine is certainly no small wad of cash.  Instead of paying to repair the car, they trade it in for a used car and take a loan on the 350Z – easier than getting a loan on a car repair.

But what about all of these others cars Pryor is reported as having driven?  Well, the NCAA ruled that there is no violation of NCAA rules if Pryor is driving loaner vehicles.  Pryor’s Charger was probably a lemon, being forced to be in the shop more often than not.  Pryor then drives the loaner vehicle the shop provides, resulting in him driving multiple vehicles with dealer plates.

The reporting on this issue has been a case of egregious sensationalism in journalism.  Rather than doing a bit of quick fact finding, or understanding the difference between “dealer tags” and “temp tags”, they went to press knowing exactly what the information looked like.

ABC 6 nearly assaulted Pryor’s mother over the details of this situation.  Worse yet, once people started turning on the heat on ABC 6 for their inappropriate actions, they remove the video.

Shady journalism at its best.

31 Comments

  1. MaliBuckeyeNo Gravatar
    June 2nd, 2011 at 12:53 pm

    Great work, Eric-
    What concerns me will still be the “memorabilia” that the dealerships have on the walls; if it’s found that Ray Small’s “loaner deals” were accurate, Ohio State will have a larger issue.

    However, it’s important to remember that the Ohio BMV and the OSU compliance office have both cleared any of the purchases in question- OSU compliance might be “shady” (if you’re an outsider”, but I have a hard time believing that the scandal would go as deep as a state office.

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  2. SBBNo Gravatar
    June 2nd, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    these facts will get no air time on national radio or tv. Makes me sick.

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    EricNo Gravatar
    June 2nd, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    Welcome to the modern sensationalist media. The more people reading, the better!

    Outside of Buckeye faithful, no-one wants to read the Pryor was perfectly clean with his cars.

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    SBBNo Gravatar
    June 2nd, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    Let’s just say that none of this car stuff is legit….

    Can Pryor turn around and sue ESPN/SI/etc for defamation of character and libel?

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    EricNo Gravatar
    June 2nd, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    Probably not. Media organizations usually try to run these types of articles through their lawyers before posting them. Even that SI article released earlier this week had to run through their lawyers before they posted it.

    Seems unlikely he’d get anywhere with a defamation suit. But, I’m also not a lawyer, so react accordingly.

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    SBBNo Gravatar
    June 2nd, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    I OBJECT!

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    EricNo Gravatar
    June 2nd, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    Nice =D

    In this article, Pryor’s lawyer claims that 90% of the SI article is wrong. He is also asked if the players will have any legal recourse against SI.

    http://sports.ap.org/college-football/story?id=p12ba8b55c4964ada983d03fa75f80c69

    Very interesting read, and answers your question (short answer is “possibly”)

    SBBNo Gravatar
    June 2nd, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    Oh yes, there will be blood.

    MaliBuckeyeNo Gravatar
    June 2nd, 2011 at 4:52 pm

    By the way… welcome back SBB.

    SBBNo Gravatar
    June 2nd, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    I’ll stay as long as some fascist doesn’t delete my posts.

  3. EricNo Gravatar
    June 2nd, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    Continuing the coverage of the car saga, Doug Lesmerises reports that Pryor’s lawyer believes that Pryor will not be charged for any car issues in the NCAA investigation.

    http://www.cleveland.com/osu/index.ssf/2011/06/post_50.html

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  4. AdamNo Gravatar
    June 2nd, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    Facts are boring. How are reporters supposed to make a name for themselves and media outlets supposed to get viewers by reporting boring facts. The storied they came up with are much more entertaining.

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  5. MaliBuckeyeNo Gravatar
    June 2nd, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    UPDATE- TP’s license has been reinstated today by the Ohio BMV

    The Buckeyes player visited an Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles office on Alum Creek Drive about 12:30 p.m. and provided proof he had vehicle insurance when he was stopped for a stop sign violation earlier this year.

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    JimNo Gravatar
    June 2nd, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    I had to renew my license recently at the BMV, if the NCAA is considering punishment for Pryor, I think they should count going to the BMV as at least half the penalty already served.

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    MaliBuckeyeNo Gravatar
    June 2nd, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    Seconded. He could miss two more games just standing in line…
    DMV

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    KenNo Gravatar
    June 2nd, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    Would those two games be part of the suspension or ‘in addition to’?

    However, if TP gets in and out of the BMV in a timely fachion, I smell another expose coming…

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  6. FixNo Gravatar
    June 2nd, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    Still a few facts left out of most articles I’ve read:

    1. Who purchased the Charger and for how much? (I haven’t even seen what year the Charger is to base it’s value)

    2. How much is a Charger with a blown engine worth or was the engine replaced?

    3. What was the nature of the repairs for the cars. Not just Terelle’s car, but all the folks that have used “My car is in the shop defense.” I usually can get a courtesy ride from my car dealership when my car is in the shop, but never a Denali. Seems like I read that OSU’s compliance office pointed out that a test drive or “loaner” was not against NCAA rules.

    I’m not ready to throw Pryor under the bus, but the the smell factor in these car deals is pretty high.

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    EricNo Gravatar
    June 2nd, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    It was reported (and I’ll work on the link in a few) that the car dealership that sold these cars turned a profit on all of these car sales. If the company turned a profit, then it’s generally considered a legit sale.

    Also, given how much the interest is on Pryor’s new 350Z, I highly doubt they’re giving him much love for being the OSU QB.

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    SBBNo Gravatar
    June 2nd, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    I have a feeling the questions will be answered soon.

    Dodge chargers don’t have the best resale value from what I know. Especially the more baseline models. Chrysler products in genera; typically fit this mold, I don’t care what Tim Allen tells me.

    350z with high mileage same story. 370 is the newer model and 80k+ miles is a lot. Check out this link.

    http://www.cars.com/go/search/detail.jsp?tracktype=usedcc&csDlId=&csDgId=&listingId=65793681&listingRecNum=9&criteria=sf1Dir%3DDESC%26mkId%3D20077%26stkTyp%3DU%26mdId%3D20419%26rd%3D30%26crSrtFlds%3DstkTypId-feedSegId-mkId-mdId%26zc%3D43210%26rn%3D0%26PMmt%3D1-1-0%26stkTypId%3D28881%26sf2Dir%3DASC%26sf1Nm%3Dprice%26sf2Nm%3Dmiles%26rpp%3D50%26feedSegId%3D28705&aff=national

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  7. Alex CurtissNo Gravatar
    June 2nd, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    Well done.

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  8. SBBNo Gravatar
    June 2nd, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    this is why I don’t read ATO :) tBBC FOREVER

    that and they delete my comments for not following their fascist rules.

    [Reply]

    Jeff at The BBCNo Gravatar
    June 2nd, 2011 at 7:50 pm

    No comment. None whatsoever. Nope.

    [Reply]

    MaliBuckeyeNo Gravatar
    June 2nd, 2011 at 8:57 pm

    Now Jeff, everyone knows you’re an anarchist and not a fascist…

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  9. Buckeye FanNo Gravatar
    June 2nd, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    Why is it that OSU accepts “loaner” cars with dealers plates of many cars from dealers around Ohio that OSU then lets its various OSU coaches to drive free of charge??! Why should coaches of all the different OSU sports departments get/need such a free perk as they are paid very well especially the more well known higher paid ones?? The main stream media should check with the OSU Transportation Dept that maintains the insurance records and provides the required insurance on all those variously provided dealer cars!

    What influence are all the various Ohio car dealers gaining for providing these cars??! How many OSU comp’d sports tickets especially to OSU football games are these car dealers provided??? Who all does OSU comp on sports including football tickets?

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    SBBNo Gravatar
    June 2nd, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    who asks a lot of questions?

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    JimNo Gravatar
    June 2nd, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    Cam Newton’s dad?

    Oh wait, he only asks one question: “can I have 180k?”

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  10. gregNo Gravatar
    June 2nd, 2011 at 10:27 pm

    sCam Newton for rent : $180 a year PLUS no repurcussions!

    great deal if you’re in the $EC

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  11. BrianNo Gravatar
    June 3rd, 2011 at 9:33 am

    Dealers don’t hand out loaner cars for the better part of a year, even if the customer’s car is in the shop. The depreciation on the loaner would probably exceed what it would cost to repair Pryor’s loaner. It’s not like a Charger is a 20 year old car with a hard to get part. Any part the dealer needed, they could have ordered quickly. No service manager, or sales manager is going to let customers drive a loaner for a year to repair a car. That’s inventory.
    Also, the dealer’s website says they offer “rental cars,” it doesn’t say, “loaner cars”
    What kind of ridiculous homer garbage is this?

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    JimNo Gravatar
    June 3rd, 2011 at 9:57 am

    The best kind!

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    EricNo Gravatar
    June 3rd, 2011 at 10:07 am

    Who said he was driving a loaner car for a year? I’ve seen reports that he’s possessed as many as 6 different loaners. It seems pretty obvious to me that he received each loaner on a different repair job, probably holding onto them for the space of a week (or two at worst) and then getting his Charger back.

    Hence the comment that the Charger was probably a lemon. I assume you can read, right? I mean, you seem like a intelligent guy on the surface.

    Also, “loaner” vs. “rental” is a matter of semantics. The cars had dealer plates, suggesting that the vehicles are owned by the dealership (I’m of course assuming he’s been using the dealer’s repair shop). If he had to pay to use the vehicles with dealer plates, all the better, but the NCAA clearly stated (if you followed the link, which you clearly didn’t) that even if they *were* loaners, it’s not a violation of NCAA rules as that service was available to anyone.

    I suggest you check that “no NCAA violations” link above. Heck, I’ll even drop it here for you to peruse.
    http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/sports/stories/2011/01/02/no-ncaa-violation-found-in-pryor-using-loaned-cars.html
    I believe you’ll find that, unlike SI, my story at least checks out with the facts at hand.

    Enjoy

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  12. EricNo Gravatar
    June 3rd, 2011 at 10:15 am

    Also, this article was just posted by the Dispatch

    There’s nothing to it. It’s clear, even from our article here, that the OSU compliance department didn’t have full knowledge of the car dealings of Terrelle Pryor. However, clearly they missed nothing in terms of violations – *in this case*. Other players we haven’t looked at yet *may* have gotten special deals (but, that’s like saying players at any other school could have gotten special deals because we haven’t looked at them yet) – though almost certainly not from Kniffin.

    The quantity of evidence suggesting Buckeye players’ car use was illegitimate is growing smaller by the day, especially as the NCAA continues to dig deeper.

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