It’s hard to see a collegiate athlete struggle to stay out of the spotlight as much as Johnny Manziel. The sophomore Texas A&M star quarterback and reigning Heisman winner has been in the news more often than not and for all the wrong reasons.
He tweeted this, he was seen doing that, he lied to who? These are just a few things that people have been murmuring lately when talking about the 20-year-old kid from Kerrville, Texas.
Manziel was seen dancing with a girl in a skimpy Halloween costume, he was involved in a bar fight before the season began, he gave the police a fake ID and he has been spotted on multiple occasions with an alcoholic beverage in hand — taking into consideration he is not yet of legal drinking age.
All of these headlines are beginning to swirl out of control for the young superstar, but what does it all mean? Absolutely nothing.
The only things Manziel needs to worry about in college are keeping his grades up, as he is a student-athlete, and performing on the field. He has been taking online classes in order to avoid in-class distractions by being the first freshman to ever win the Heisman Trophy. If you ask me, that’s no way to enjoy the college experience and that’s just an excuse to not go to class.
Moreover, he’s performing on the field, like I said earlier. Passing for 3,706 yards and 26 touchdowns while running for 1,410 yards and 21 touchdowns is no joke. Even better, Manziel led the Aggies to their first top-five AP poll finish since 1956 and the first top-10 finish since 1994. Oh, and did I mention he did it all in the hardest conference in America, the SEC?
All the partying and legal issues aside, he’s exceeded expectations.
Sure, Kevin Sumlin probably doesn’t want him caught drinking underage all the time and getting in bar fights, but as long as he avoids any serious issues in the future, nothing that he has already done will matter.
Is his partying an issue? No, it’s the offseason and the kid can do what he wants; he’s in college for goodness sake. Find me a college student or even a college athlete that doesn’t party and go to clubs like Manziel. It won’t be an easy task.
The reason he gets so much negative attention is because he is college football’s Heisman winner and most popular player at the moment. He should know that everything he does will be magnified because he’s living his life in a fishbowl at the moment.
Moral of the story: give Manziel a break. Sure, he should never get in a bar fight or get caught using a fake ID, but if he wants to party, leave the kid alone. The media is making him out to be the villain that they want him to be.
Connor Muldowney is a columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Connormuldowney, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.