Commentary by Joe Biddle: Johnny Football: No Rules
By Joe Biddle, Columnist
Will Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel become the first Heisman Trophy winner to be suspended for violating NCAA rules?
One thing is crystal clear.
Johnny Manziel is ALL about Johnny Manziel.
Who else would be so egotistical to show up at a Texas frat party? Johnny did.
Who else would be so enamored with themselves that they would knowingly break NCAA rules to sign a voluminous amount of autographed pictures and other memorabilia for a reported 5-figure payday?
Johnny allegedly did.
Who else would think he is above the NCAA rules, or the laws of the land, to put Texas A&M’s season in dire straits?
You got it. Johnny Manziel. He’s a young, spoiled knucklehead who only thinks of Johnny. He is proving to be the classic example of a privileged, pampered punk who doesn’t think rules apply to him.
The timing could not be worse for Texas A&M. The coaching staff and players don’t want this hanging over their heads this season. Johnny doesn’t care.
There needs to be a resolution as soon as possible, and we all know the NCAA works at an arthritic snail’s pace. There seems to be ample damning information available. ESPN uncovered the story, a story that included Manziel agreeing to sign hundreds of items for a sports memorabilia dealer while attending the January BCS National Championship Game in Miami.
A new story is gaining traction. It comes from an unidentified southern-based memorabilia dealer saying that Manziel signed items for him this year, but the dealer was notified by a friend/handler of Manziel, that going forward the dealer would have to pay for any items.
Here is all you need to know about where Manziel’s head is.
According to CBSsports.com college football analyst Dennis Dodd, A&M Athletics Director Eric Hyman assembled this summer a group of people who were concerned about the off-field actions taken by Manziel.
Dodd wrote that Manziel, his parents, coaches, marketing and SID departments were represented. At that point, the emphasis was to ensure Manziel they were there to help him combat the pitfalls of surviving in a giant fishbowl.
Manziel may have been listening at the meeting. It is obvious he was not hearing.
Even Manziel’s father predicted his son was unreliable when it came to obeying the rules.
“Yeah, it could all come unraveled,’’ he told ESPN. “And when it does, it’s gonna be bad. Real bad.’’
The NCAA previously suspended Georgia wide receiver A.J. Green for four games for selling an autographed game jersey.
The longest suspension for similar violations was five games handed out to former Ohio State quarterback Terrell Pryor.
The NCAA needs to use all resources available and stay on top of this story and reach a decision. Texas A&M meets defending national champion Alabama in College Station on Sept. 14. That should be the NCAA’s deadline to make a ruling.
If Manziel misses part, or all of this season, he will have played his final college football game. He will have been in college for three years and be eligible for the NFL draft.
I’m not convinced Manziel is a first-round draft pick, especially with his highly publicized off the field problems, most of which have been due to a lack of maturity.
Johnny Manziel appears to be in a heap of trouble. He has wiggled out of tight spots before, but this cat may have used up at least eight lives.
Sports Columnist Joe Biddle is a four-time sports writer of the year in Tennessee and a 2013 inductee to the Tennessee Sports Writers Association Hall of Fame. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Posted on: 8/8/2013