The NCAA sure showed Johnny Football.
The Heisman winner has to sit out the first half of the Aggies’ season-opener Saturday against Rice for the violation of NCAA rules after signing autographs he admits he knew were going to be sold. Johnny Manziel claims, however, that he was not paid. Thus, leading to the “inadvertent infraction” and one-half suspension.
To put in mind how much of a punishment this is to Manziel, Texas A&M is favored to win by around 27 points as of Wednesday afternoon, this according to www.vegasinsider.com
Odds were, he was only playing one full half of football, regardless.
The suspension is comical. As Kansas State Rivals writer D. Scot Fritchen said on Twitter, “NCAA: That isn’t a slap on the wrist. It’s a wet willy.”
What this boils down to is that the NCAA knows Manziel took money for those autographs. Texas A&M knows Manziel took the money. My sister, who follows football as closely as I follow American Idol (i.e. not at all), knows Manziel took the money. The only problem the NCAA had was proving it.
There was no paper trail, no physical proof for the NCAA to point at and say, “Ha! See!” The meeting with Manziel and his lawyer wasn’t in a courtroom. There was no judge or jury to hear the evidence and make a decision “beyond a reasonable doubt.”
A check of the NCAA website shows that, in instances where an infraction hearing is held, “it's standard of proof is whether the information is credible, persuasive and of a nature that reasonable people would rely upon in the conduct of serious affairs.” The NCAA most likely had only managed one out of three, at least as far as taking money goes.
That being said, it must be totally reason
able for Manziel, Heisman Trophy winner, to sit around at at table signing autographs for hours on end and to receive nothing but, what? The satisfaction of helping poor, impoverished memorabilia dealers? Carpal Tunnel?
Whatever he got in return for those autographs, it’s now on the record that the NCAA and Texas A&M believe Manziel when they say he didn’t get paid. He did, however, admit to signing those autographs, knowing full well they were going to be sold. Leading to his laughable suspension, which isn’t going over well to many.
Former NFL and MLB star Deion Sanders took to Twitter to rage against the brevity of the suspension. Sanders was at the center of a controversy surrounding former Oklahoma State receiver Dez Bryant, who didn’t disclose to the NCAA what happened during a legal dinner at former NFL and MLB star Deion Sanders’ house in 2009. Bryant was subsequently suspended for most of that season.
Page 2 of 2 - The hypocrisy is astounding. Yes, Bryant lied. Yes, he deserved to be suspended for it, but his suspension for a legal dinner should have been more in line with what Manziel got for an autograph signing he knew to be against the rules. This isn’t even about whether or not he took the money or not. This is about the rules the NCAA has on the books and how Johnny Football willingly broke them.
The NCAA dropped the ball in their punishment of Manziel.
Instead of sending a message, they gave him extra time to tailgate. It’s just another blow to the organization’s credibility.
Contact Chris Swick by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @SwickSentinel.