It’s been a whirlwind year for Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel. He started the year as a backup quarterback for the Aggies, went on to earn the starting job with not just a very successful season for the Aggies, but Manziel also won himself the Heisman Trophy as a redshirt freshman, something that has never happened before.
So imagine my surprise when I am nosing around Youtube today and I find this video.
The announcers of the game (some TNT talking heads) started to joke around about how a college student could afford such plush seats to an NBA game, and wondered if there were some college football violations happening. Ironically, they returned from commercial, presumably brow-beaten, and said that Manziel had bought the tickets himself. A quick search of StubHub showed that floor seats similar to where Manziel was sitting against teams a much less prestigious draw than the Miami Heat go for around $500 apiece. So it’s fair to assume Manziel’s seat was something north of that.
But was it cause for suspicion? Of course not. A little digging told me that the Manziel’s are loaded. Getting their kid a ticket like this probably would have been no sweat for them at all, even if it were $700 or $800. This appears to just be a case of a couple of idiot announcers who saw someone in the crowd that is a talking point, and then chose to talk without really knowing what they were talking about.
However, I will say this. In a day and age where the culture is all about oversight and violations and improper benefits, it is to be expected that seeing a young man like Manziel floor seats of a Mavericks game will raise eyebrows. Most want to paint NCAA student athletes as poor and destitute, living on ramen noodles and just scraping by while they give their all to their schools, which is why they accept these benefits. But the reality is that there are young men like Manziel who are from affluent families and can afford things like this. It’s fun to talk about, and stirred everyone up a bit, but it appears to be much ado about nothing.