There are reports surfacing that Texas A&M has suspended their Heisman winning quarterback Johnny Manziel for half of their season-opener vs. the Rice Owls this weekend. Yes, you read that right and no, this is not a joke: HALF A GAME.
Manziel’s athletic eligibility has been in question since six different brokers told ESPN that the sophomore quarterback had allegedly accepted cash in exchange for his signature on thousands of autographed items which were later placed for sale on various websites.
Reporters even stated that they witnessed a video tape of Manziel signing items in a hotel room. According to them, when asked if he would accept additional money for inscriptions, he can be heard telling someone in the room that the he had done that before and it caused problems. They also claim Manziel warned someone not to ever tell anyone that they had done business together.
Even worse, the Dallas Morning News quoted both Texas A&M and Johnny Manziel back in March (after the incidents were said to have occurred) stating that neither had any knowledge that Manziel had violated any NCAA regulations.
Despite the preponderance of evidence against him suggesting that Manziel likely did indeed violate the No. 1 rule of college athletics Manziel will miss half of a game.
Even A&M officials, based on the fact that they even issued a suspension, must agree that Manziel violated the rules; however, it’s the length of the suspension that is questionable.
The school’s decision to suspend their star quarterback for one half of their first game is worse than if they had cleared him of all wrongdoing.
This decision tells the world, “Yes, we know he cheated, but to be honest, we don’t really care.”
With this so-called disciplinary action, A&M has made a mockery of the NCAA, an organization whose primary purpose is to make sure that amateur athletes remain amateurs.
Sure, fans may disagree with the NCAA rule stating that athletes cannot profit from the use of their name or likeness, but that doesn’t matter. Like it or not it’s a rule and rules, by their very nature, are made to be enforced.
If this “punishment” is deemed acceptable by the NCAA (and some reports are stating this was an agreement reached between them and the school), then they may as well close down shop. After all, what’s the point?
The Aggies have shown a complete disregard for the bylaws that govern college football and therefore have made a mockery of the very organization built to make sure they are enforced.
This suspension is a slap in the face to college sports, a slap in the face to those who have been suspended for entire seasons for the same type of thing, and a slap in the face to the thousands of college athletes who follow the rules each and every day.