The NCAA is officially investigating the reigning Heisman Trophy winnner Johnny Manziel. According to sources from Outside the Lines, Manziel may have been paid for signing hundreds of autographs on photos and sports memorabilia in January. The sources also says that Manziel agreed to sign autographs during his trip to Miami for the BCS National Title Game. Manziel would have been paid a five-figure flat rate for the autographs. Both sources claim to witness the signings but never saw any money actually handed to Manziel.
With Manziel’s offseason issues becoming front-page news, this latest incident will only dampen the reputation of Texas A&M‘s star quarterback. As far as a figure for younger fans to look up to, please keep him off the air. When it comes to showing someone who cares about rules and integrity, please steer clear. The biggest problem with Johnny Manziel’s antics, including this issue, is that nobody really cares. If Johnny Manziel steps on the football field and beats Alabama again, all will be forgiven. If he steps on the field and wins another Heisman Trophy, all is forgotten. If he steps on the field and wins a National Championship? Erect a statue outside of Kyle Field with his name in bronze lettering.
Manziel has publicly said he cannot wait to get out of College Station. I’m not sure he imagined leaving college without playing another game after his Heisman Trophy winning season. If he is charged with accepting improper benefits, what will happen to him? In the case of star athletes, some get to pay back the money. The repayment of funds to a charity could be the simple answer to this infraction. That won’t be a problem for Manziel or his family because they are wealthy enough to take the hit. If the NCAA is tired of watching Manziel make a mockery of the term “student-athlete”, they could make him an example. Would the NCAA risk not having one of the most dynamic football players on the field next season? The NCAA could add to their public relations nightmare by protecting Manziel and letting him off of the hook without a suspension or penalty. Manziel already feels invincible in the eyes of the law; will the NCAA enable him more?