I'm not normally one to comment on SEC football, but I think that the Texas A&M scandal needs to be addressed.
The ineptitude of the NCAA becomes more and more astounding each and every day. An example of this--The University of Miami (FL) has been waiting on NCAA action on violations that occured a two years ago in the Nevin Shapiro scandal.
The Hurricanes have already penalized themselves by denying thier football team postseason play in 2011 and 2012.
Johnny "Football" Manziel should be thankful for this ineptitude; we know that the Aggies are not going to hold him out of any games. He makes the university too much money for that.
As football fans, we have all heard the stories about Manziel's partying and 20-year-old antics this off season. Just for posterity, let's review what he stands accused of that the NCAA is "investigating".
Manziel has allegedly been paid tens of thousands of dollars to sign over 4,400 autographs for brokers at various places around the country and is currently denying these accusations.
Former OK State WR Dez Bryant was suspended most of 2009 for lying about his relationship with Deion Sanders, as well as current Cincinatti reciever A.J. Green, who was suspended four games in 2010 for signing ONE jersey and receiving $1,000.
There are arguments that Manziel is the poster child for the cause that the NCAA should pay its athletes. I'm sorry but free tuition, room, board, books, meals, and in most cases a stipend is more than enough pay.
Many college athletes, myself included, had to do work study, or work on campus in addtion to all the things football entails to make money to take our girlfriends out on dates. I didn't have the luxury of playing in the SEC, but I put in the work needed to play and carry a 3.2 GPA.
Another argument is that Manziel comes from money, so why would he need to be paid to sign helmets? The answer "because he can". Manzeil is the only freshman to ever win a Heisman trophy, and the face of Texas A&M football. His world has been turned upside down and he has been thrust into the hot spotlights of fame; what 20 year old wouldn't think that it was "cool" to be paid a couple thousand bucks to sign his name?
Does anyone except the staunchest of Aggie fans really believe that Manzeil didn't take the money? I didn't think so.
Should Manzeil be suspendend for taking that money? Absolutely, and based on NCAA penalties, he could receive up to a 1-year ban if he was found to be complicit in this scandal. Based on past "investigations" of the NCAA, he will not be suspended.
Fear not Aggie fans, Johnny Football will be on the field for kickoff against Rice in two weeks, and after Manzeil's 2nd year with the Oakland Raiders, we will have a ruling in the case.
I'm speculating that when this ruling comes down in 2016, Texas A&M will lose some scholarships and possibly a bowl season. This will give Manzeil time to declare for the 2014 NFL draft and leave his NCAA troubles behind him.
It all comes down to money, if Manziel isn't on the field for Texas A&M in 2013 then the NCAA loses out on a valuable commodity, jersey sales and TV money.
Should Johnny Manziel play? No, he shouldn't. Will he Play? Yes, he will, and for all the wrong reasons. I'm betting that if Manziel has great games in the first two weeks and/or if A&M squeaks past Bama in Week 3, all will be forgiven and forgotton.