Like me, I imagine most of you spent the weekend assuming that the Alex Rodriguez suspension was the story that would dominate the headlines on Monday. It is a huge deal and maybe just maybe this substantial suspension (fingers-crossed), will actually serve as a deterrent for the PED users.
When news of a potential eligibility issue with reigning Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel surfaced, that all changed. And it should because Manziel, if he remains eligible, will actually have an impact on the games and potentially the title this year in college football. A-Rod is no good anymore, in my opinion, plus he’s always getting hurt. So his impact on the games is nothing, even though his impact on “the game” could be huge.
However, Manziel’s impact on “the game” of college football could be enormous. Texas A&M has seen ten years worth of headlines from Manziel and Monday will still mark just his first camp as the clear starter at quarterback in Aggieland. Yet, this latest is the big one. This is one that could really push forward the idea of allowing money to be made by the players, instead of on the players. The debate will rage over this one – regardless of how this plays out.
Reportedly, Manziel accepted a five-figure flat fee in exchange for signing memorabilia. Allegedly this took place the day before the BCS national title game between Alabama and Notre Dame. If the investigation proves that Manziel violated NCAA Bylaw 188.8.131.52 – which is explained here in this ESPN that lays out the circumstances – he could be ruled ineligible. Thanks to @cuppycup for this brilliant .gif below, that plays up the absurdity of this entire Manziel offseason.
Are you with Dan Wetzel of Yahoo! Sports that the NCAA needs to re-evaluate their rules on amateurism?
How about siding with Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports that the Aggies are victims, not enablers in all of this?
SI’s Stewart Mandel says this autograph scandal will follow Manziel regardless of outcome. Also notes that this is the first real issue of the offseason.
My take is Manziel wants to get to the big money so fast and so badly that he clearly isn’t concerned about what he can or can’t do. Should or shouldn’t do. He’s a great football player. He seems and is reported to be a great teammate. But this, if true, is blatantly selfish. Maybe he felt it was some sort of “I’ll show you” to the NCAA or Texas A&M. But it’s Manziel whose time on the field will be cut short or maybe be over completely. The Aggies will suffer only if this crushes the program and I don’t believe that’s happening. (I still think people are selling a potential Manziel-less Aggie team a bit short.)
I think through all of this, we need to add another nickname to the Johnny Football, Johnny Online, etc.
Hurricane Johnny. Once it comes through, boy is there a lot of cleaning up to do.
– Wex (@awexler)