As evidence continues to come out that Johnny Manziel signed autographs for at least four brokers, it is looking more and more like the most polarizing college athlete and his captivating college career, might be over before it even really had the chance to start.
The college football fandom had just one year to witness the incredible talent Manziel brought to the game, but it was enough to draw out an audience of unmeasured proportions. Manziel became something of a folk hero with his offensive performances, his clutch plays, his incredible ability and he did it all as a 19-year-old sophomore, in his first college football season.
Ready to play his first football game at Texas A&M University, Manziel was just another quarterback. He had been known locally, but nationally, nothing was expected of the redshirt freshman. But when Manziel broke a record held for the last 43 years by Archie Manning, people started to take notice. And when he broke his own record just two weeks later, Manziel started to become somewhat of a household name.
However, it wasn’t until he led his Aggies to the most improbable victory over the top team in the country, the Alabama Crimson Tide, that Manziel’s status became almost legendary. He was becoming something of a folk hero, a distinction that would only be solidified as he became the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy.
But then the offseason began and the hero who came to be known as Johnny Football, acted like the 20-year-old kid that he is proving to be. He has been drinking underage, getting kicked out of parties, failing to make commitments and barely avoiding an arrest. His parents had told various sources that they are scared for their son and how he has been handling his newfound stardom.
And while the partying and the drinking has had some questioning his role-model status, Manziel’s biggest grievance might have come as the result of illegal autograph signings.
By now, it is very much known that Manziel is under fire for signing with different brokers to the tune of over 4,400 items, all or most with perfect signatures. But to this point, the NCAA has been unable to prove that he accepted any money for these signings. If they do prove this, Manziel is in violation of a major rule and could be ineligible to play the 2014 season.
Manziel took college football by storm this year. But if he rules ineligible, it seems like the biggest and most talked about career in recent college football history could be coming to an end after just one year. It is incredible to think of that possibility because as a freshman, Manziel did what no other player ever did and was looking like someone who might be able to do something no other player had done either.
He could have and still can have a wonderful college career but it really is all going to depend on how this investigation shakes out. And going forward if there are any more years in college, Manziel is going to have to realize that he is not your average 20 or 21 year old. He is in the public eye now and everything he does is going to be headline news.
One can only hope this is not the end for Johnny Football because he has so much talent and so much promise. But with each day and each new report that comes out, it doesn’t look good for the Heisman-winning quarterback.
Oh Johnny Football, we hardly knew thee!