Dez Bryant isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed, but he’s one heck of a football player; it’s a safe bet no one would argue either of those statements. That’s why his recent comments regarding Johnny Manziel‘s alleged autograph scandals are pleasantly surprising. Bryant has mixed feelings about the situation, but explained them in a way that really makes you admire the Dallas Cowboys‘ rising star and hate the NCAA even more at the same time.
Bryant told ESPN he’ll “be mad” if Manziel isn’t suspended for allegedly accepting thousands of dollars for his autograph earlier this year. However, the maturing 24-year-old said he also hopes Manziel doesn’t get suspended because he likes Texas A&M‘s polarizing quarterback and “hopes him the best.”
That’s a little odd when it rolls off the tongue, but it makes sense when you consider Bryant’s backstory:
He was in a situation almost identical to Manziel’s as a Heisman candidate at Oklahoma State in 2009: Bryant was playing in his final season before entering the NFL and looking like a future superstar. Then he was suspended for the final 10 games of the season after lying to an NCAA investigator about having lunch with Deion Sanders, an event that didn’t violate any of the ridiculous rules put in place by the sorry excuse for a governing body of college athletics.
Bryant shouldn’t have lied about the lunch, but he did because he feared he had unknowingly done something wrong considering the plethora of absolutely stupid NCAA rules in existence and the fact he was being questioned by an investigator. All of this over a lunch that was perfectly legal.
In Manziel’s case, he could be “guilty” of accepting money for his autograph, which is against NCAA rules, even though that’s incredibly mind-numbing to think about. Bryant also had some words of wisdom on that cute little topic as well with Manziel as his example:
“He should be able to sign as many autographs and make as much money as he wants, because it’s his name. The NCAA makes money off of it when they sell those No. 2 shirts, so why can’t he make a little bit of money off it?”
And that’s exactly why the NCAA suddenly stopped selling team jerseys recently. As Jay Busbee from Yahoo! Sports pointed out, you could search “Manziel” on the NCAA’s official shopping website and get a ton of results that were headlined by Texas A&M shirts with the number two on them, but Manziel’s name nowhere in sight. The site has removed the player search function, but the screen shots are there for all the world to see.
Whether or not Manziel should be suspended has yet to be decided because, as of now, no one can prove he took money for those autographs. But the damage has been done and now the other side of the door is heating up for the NCAA, who Bryant summed up perfectly with one final statement:
“I just think the NCAA — they don’t do a good enough job. I just honestly feel like it’s about money and TV ratings.”
Truer words were never spoken.