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May 26, 2011

Small: 'Everybody was doing it'

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COLUMBUS, Ohio - Former Ohio State receiver Ray Small told The Lantern that he also sold memorabilia given to him by the university.

Small, a Glenville alum, explained that it was a rather common occurrence for Ohio State football players to sell memorabilia given to them by the university to make ends meet.

Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor and other prominent players will miss the first five games of next season while serving a suspension for selling items for money and extra benefits.

Small, who spent time in an out of head coach Jim Tressel's doghouse while with the program, said players "don't even think about the rules."

"They explain the rules to you, but as a kid you're not really listening to all of them rules," Small told The Lantern in a story the paper released today. "You go out and you just, people show you so much love, you don't even think about the rules. You're just like 'Ah man, it's cool.' You take it, and next thing you know the NCAA is down your back."

Small played for Ohio State from 2006 to 2009 and he said he also sold his stuff for money. The main motive? Small said there is so much time spent on football that students athletes needed the extra money. With extra memorabilia, Small said he took the opportunity to make an extra buck. "I had sold my things but it was just for the money," Small said. "At that time in college, you're kind of struggling.

"We have apartments, car notes," he continued. "So you got things like that and you look around and you're like, 'Well I got (four Big Ten rings), I can sell one or two and get some money to pay this rent… We had four Big Ten rings - There was enough to go around."

Small continued by saying that car deals were a big way student athletes saved money, but said similar deals weren't only restricted to Ohio State football players. However, Small continued by saying Ohio State football players are more prone to get the better deals.

"Everywhere you go, while you're in the process of playing at Ohio State," Small said, "you're going to get a deal every which way." Ari Wasserman is a staff writer for BuckeyeGrove.com. He can be reached at Ari@BuckeyeGrove.com.



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