Johnny Manziel is obviously a very talented young man. You don’t win the most prestigious trophy in college athletics by being average. Johnny Manziel is also young and immature and isn’t exactly being aided by his parents who have apparently thrown their hands in the air. Johnny Manziel is also not a complete idiot.
I have a very hard time believing that Manziel, who has absolutely no issues with having money, would have taken money for signing his name approximately 50-200 times for a sports memorabilia broker last season.
Again, I can’t sit here and tell you he didn’t do it, but the NCAA is barking up the wrong tree period in a couple of ways. First, there has to be evidence. If he was given cash, it’s going to be very difficult to prove Manziel did anything wrong. Even if the broker says, “I handed him cash” and Manziel says, “No he didn’t” then the NCAA’s hands are tied with no proof.
Secondly, why would Manziel suddenly decide, after hundreds of autograph requests, to accept money in just this one situation?
The fact that the NCAA doesn’t allow athletes to profit from signing their own names is laughable in and of itself, but rules are rules no matter how ridiculous they may be. The hypocrisy of the NCAA is not the issue in this particular piece but it’s difficult to avoid.
For Texas A&M, the risk moving forward is very clear and concrete. If they choose to play Manziel in games as the investigation moves on, the risk is that if he is found to have violated NCAA rules, then the Aggies will more than likely be forced to forfeit games that are won.
The University has allegedly hired the same law firm that Auburn used in 2010 during the Cam Newton investigation.
I can’t see Manziel being suspended. The Manziel Investigation story came on the same day that Jeremy Hill of LSU was reinstated by Coach Les Miles following a vote by the players allowing him back on the team. Hill had violated his probation and had been suspended by the team back in April following his arrest for a bar fight in Baton Rouge.
He had already been on probation because of a misdemeanor involving a 14-year old girl when he was a high school senior. Hill was on the field yesterday for the Tigers’ first practice of the season.
There was absolutely no involvement by the NCAA in this case. So if you’re keeping score at home, a player can enter college athletics while on probation with the law, violate the probation for getting arrested and miss absolutely zero time. On the flip-side, a player allegedly gets cash for signing his own name on sports collectibles and is potentially facing a serious suspension.
The NCAA has created so many rules that they no longer understand what those rules are and worse yet, they no longer have any clue about what to enforce and what to investigate.
Johnny Manziel is not without guilt. Since winning the Heisman Trophy he has been on a non-stop, whirlwind tour that he himself has promoted with constant barrages of Tweets and Instagram photos. He has made it difficult to think that he can actually make a mature decision but he wouldn’t be the first to act moronically and still make a mature decision.
Manziel is not some kid from the projects or a broken home who is hoping to make it big in order to support his family. He comes from oil money. He never goes without and never will. That makes the fact that he took money for signing 250 or so items that much more strange and interesting.
Even if he is guilty, it’s going to be difficult to prove. Besides, the NCAA is a business entity isn’t it? There’s no way Manziel isn’t on the field when they host Alabama.