Johnny Manziel, "Johnny Football/Heisman", the Texas A&M quarterback, has been suspended for the first half of the team's opener against Rice in a deal with the NCAA. Manziel, who met with investigators for six hours to discuss allegations that he took money for signing his name at six different sessions was able to scramble his way to a beautiful victory for himself.
Now I'm not trying to take a shot at Rice, but they are not Texas A&M. Johnny Manziel sitting out a half against Rice, a game he might have not played more than a half in anyways, is a laughable suspension. Texas A&M has hopes of competing for an SEC and BCS National Championship, with those hopes riding heavily on the play of their quarterback, and now they'll have him for the difficult stretches of the schedule. I wonder if the NCAA actually believes they did a fair job of punishing A&M and Johnny Manziel, because if I was a star player I love the precedent that is set here.
Think about it, Johnny Manziel made thousands of dollars to sit out a half against Rice. Regardless of what you think of the NCAA amateurism rules, they are still the rules, and Johnny Manziel clearly broke them. Nobody goes to random hotel rooms to sign thousands of memorabilia items for free, especially if you read stories about Manziel giving autographs. He denied, denied, denied, and he got away with it. Many reporters are saying that now star players will be more aware of the rule, but if I'm only going to lose a half in a game my team is winning regardless, it's going to be awful hard to turn all that money down. Manziel even comes from a solid financial backing, while many other players need money to help support their families. For a half, many players might think it's a good enough trade off.
Manziel, who has character concerns for NFL scouts anyways, learned that his star power can help him scramble out of all kinds of trouble. For a kid who has seemed so entitled to some, he didn't learn the lesson the NCAA and fans were hoping he learned. Does Manziel think he can get away with anything now because of this slap on the wrist? Hell, if I'm Johnny Manziel and knew the punishment I'd receive, I would have a very, very hard time turning it down. The NCAA made another unfair mistake, and set a whole new precedent for star players.