Texas A&M redshirt-sophomore quarterback Johnny Manziel, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, has been suspended for allegedly being involved in the signing and sale of merchandise.
Was he suspended for half the season? No. For the non-conference season? Nope. The entire first game? Negative.
Manziel has been suspended for a whopping one half of the team’s first game (which will likely be an easy victory against an overmatched Rice team).
Allegedly, Manziel received tens of thousands of dollars to sign autographs throughout multiple signing sessions. On Thursday the NCAA released a statement saying, essentially, there was no evidence that Manziel received payment for autographs. It did say, however, Manziel was found guilty of a separate (and lesser) NCAA violation.
From the point of view of the Buckeye faithful, it’s hard to believe that Johnny Football would have received such a pointless penalty had he chosen to play ball in Columbus.
The now infamous “Tattoo-Gate” (which supposedly dealt with less money than the Manziel situation) led to former Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor leaving the university for the NFL, the forced end of Jim Tressel’s coaching career and multiple suspensions for various players. On top of that, the team received multiple sanctions, including a self-inflicted bowl game ban for 2012-13.
While the two situations are certainly different, I just do not see how the NCAA justifies their decisions at this point.
In one case, the NCAA nearly ruined one of the most successful football programs in history, in another they slapped their new poster boy on the wrist.
I understand that Manziel was not found guilty of the greater violation, but from everything that has been reported, it seems like the NCAA must not have put forth much effort into finding evidence.
Would I say the NCAA favors him? Yes, I would, and I truly believe a greater suspension would have been handed down if he played for OSU, regardless of the evidence that came up.
They want to be known as the tough kid on the block, but today the NCAA proved that they are hiding out with their tails between their legs.
The media have a field day when OSU gets in trouble, and the NCAA is proud to hand the Buckeyes tougher sanctions than any other school (save one or two), but when the great hero Johnny Football leaps over the line, they simply move it further away.