Pryor Noticeably Absent From Fiesta Media Day

Thirty members of the Texas team and a like number from Ohio State participated in the annual Fiesta Bowl Media Day this morning, but OSU starting quarterback Terrelle Pryor was a notable absentee.

Sixty players from Ohio State and Texas spent most of the morning answering questions at the annual Fiesta Bowl Media Day, but the story seemed to center around one of the players who wasn't there.

OSU freshman Terrelle Pryor, who is expected to start Monday night against the Longhorns, was notably absent from the proceedings, prompting reporters to ask where Pryor was.

"He is back with about 75 other guys who are watching film," Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel said. "When we were told that we could bring only about 30 guys today, we thought it would be proper to bring the senior members of our football team."

As a result, seniors such as special teams star Shaun Lane and backup tailback Maurice Wells were made available but expected starters like Pryor and freshman center Michael Brewster were not.

Media Day was altered this season because the Arizona Cardinals have made the NFL playoffs. The Cardinals will host the Atlanta Falcons on Saturday, making the University of Phoenix Stadium unavailable for interviews. In years past, media members had access to all players and coaches of both teams for 90 minutes each. This year, the access was reduced to 30 players designated by the schools for 30 minutes each.

While several media members grumbled about the lack of access to Pryor, with one offering, "How can Pryor possibly be ready for Texas if they're afraid of him facing (longtime beat writer) Tim May (of the Columbus Dispatch)?"

But Tressel insisted there was nothing sinister intended.

"This is all about our seniors," he said. "We thought it would be a nice time to spotlight our seniors. In situations like these, there is always going to be some disappointment. When you're signing autographs, it seems like you can't sign for everyone and someone winds up disappointed. I guess maybe that's the situation here."

The move didn't seem to matter to the other players.

"I was on the sheet to come, so I'm here," junior receiver Brian Hartline said. "As far as keeping Terrelle away from the media, I doubt there's anything to that. He's spoken to you guys before, hasn't he? I just think it was something Coach Tress wanted to do for the seniors. And after all, it's his decision."

Other members of the team didn't seem to notice Pryor's absence.

"He's not here?" asked senior co-captain James Laurinaitis. "Well, he could have come in my place. Nothing against (the media), but I'd rather be back at the hotel watching film."

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