Terrelle Pryor's five-game suspension was upheld by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Friday.
The Oakland Raiders rookie quarterback had appealed the punishment, which was related to NCAA violations he committed while at Ohio State. Pryor entered the NFL supplemental draft instead of serving a five-game ban with the Buckeyes after being involved in a cash-for-memorablia scandal that has put Ohio State under NCAA investigation.
"This smacks of a calculated effort to manipulate our eligibility rules in a way that undermines the integrity of, and public confidence in, those rules," Goodell said in his decision.
Pryor was selected by the Raiders in the third round of the supplemental draft Aug. 22. He originally said he would not contest the ban but changed his mind and filed the appeal through the union.
Several members of the NFL Players Association's executive committee had expressed concerns about Goodell suspending a player who was not yet in the league.
Pryor did not attend his hearing Sept. 15 in New York.
"As we have done throughout this process, we will consult with Terrelle and support him in his decision" on what to do next, NFL Players Association spokesman George Atallah said.
Pryor opted to give up his final season with the Buckeyes soon after coach Jim Tressel was forced out of his job for failing to notify administrators about players — including Pryor — trading memorabilia for cash and tattoos at a Columbus, Ohio, tattoo parlor.
The quarterback originally was barred from entering the supplemental draft, then was approved by Goodell, with the proviso he must sit out five games.
Goodell said Pryor left Ohio State "in order to avoid the consequences of his conduct while in college — conduct to which he had admitted and for which he had accepted a suspension — and to hasten the day when he could pursue a potentially lucrative professional career in the NFL."
Pryor may be activated by the Raiders after their game at Houston on Oct. 9.
NFL REMINDS TEAMS NOT TO MIMIC CALLS: The NFL reminded teams of the rule prohibiting defensive players from mimicking the offense's signal-calling cadence after Dallas accused the Washington Redskins of causing the Cowboys to bungle several snaps.
As part of a memo sent to clubs this week, the league reiterated that it was unsportsmanlike conduct for defenders to use "acts or words" that were "designed to disconcert an offensive team at the snap."
New Dallas center Phil Costa misfired on four snaps in Monday night's win, and afterward the Cowboys accused Washington of mimicking quarterback Tony Romo's cadence, which the Redskins denied.
"Due to the fact that the umpire is positioned in the offensive backfield for most scrimmage plays, no official is within close proximity of the line of scrimmage," the memo said. "Therefore it is more difficult to determine if a defensive player is imitating the quarterback's cadence and/or snap count."
PAINTER TO START: Curtis Painter will make his first NFL start at quarterback for the Colts at Tampa Bay on Monday night.
Kerry Collins is still recovering after suffering concussion-like symptoms last Sunday against Pittsburgh, and his status is uncertain for Monday's game.
The winless Colts had been preparing Painter to start in case Collins couldn't go.