Drew’s Morning Dish — Wed., August 7

August 07, 2013 | Drew Forrester

I knew the Johnny Manziel story was too good to be true.

A refresher course for those who aren’t up-to-speed on “the story” — Manziel was a mega-hot-shot high school quarterback out of Tyler, Texas who was highly recruited by over a dozen Division I schools.  He originally committed to Oregon, then magically changed his mind and signed on with the Aggies in 2011.  He played the 2012 season as a red-shirt freshman and would go on to win the Heisman Trophy on the heels of an 11-2 season and a victory in the Cotton Bowl.

Short version — He was a 19 year old shooting star in the 2012 season and was on the fast track to “owning” the college football landscape in ’13 and beyond.  The kid is one helluva football player.

Unfortunately, Manziel’s college football career is likely over, or at least it will be at some point in the next two months once the heavy hand of the NCAA comes busting down on him for his part in an autograph signing deal that reportedly paid him $7,500 in cash last January.

In case you’re not aware, a college athlete taking money in exchange for his autograph is AGAINST THE RULES.

(This is where the defenders of free enterprise will bloviate about how the rules suck and the NCAA and Texas A&M “profit” off of Manziel and if he can make a buck peddling his signature, by God he should be allowed to do that.)

This is also where sane people who understand that rules are in place to protect college sports from destroying itself will say, “What a complete dumb-ass that kid Manziel is…had the world by the short hairs but couldn’t stay clean.”

I’m one of the sane folks who laugh out loud at clowns like Manziel who have everything – EVERY. THING. – at their disposal in their college career and ultimately just need to remain compliant for four stinkin’ years and yet, they just can’t do it.

Dummies like Manziel don’t deserve a free college education.

I’m not even going to bring up the juvenile stuff that’s been haunting him all summer — like parking tickets, crashing parties at rival schools and getting drunk (and not yet legally 21, mind you) enough that it necessitated he “sleep in” one morning at a football camp hosted by The Manning Family.  That’s just stupid behavior that most 20-somethings involve themselves in…it might show he’s immature, but it doesn’t have much to do with his eligibility at Texas A&M.

Taking money for autographs…that will put a severe cramp in his eligibility status in 2013.  It’s one of the only ways he could ruin his career at A&M.

I can hear the A&M football coach now last June:  “Johnny, have yourself a great summer.  Relax.  Get a tan.  Chase some girls.  Listen to the new Camera Obscura CD.  Work on your putting and your short game.  Learn how to play chess.”  And then, as Manziel leaves the room, the coach shouts out one last item:  “Oh, and please, whatever you do, try not to do anything that gets you kicked out off the team or puts you in hot water with the NCAA.”

Too late for that, of course.  Johnny Football took care of that last January when he scooped up a bunch of dollar bills in exchange for signing his autograph about 600 times on various photos that would later be sold on eBay and other high volume websites with celebrity and athlete connections.

Oh, and he can also expect the I.R.S. to have a keen interest in that cash he took last January.  That, of course, isn’t something he thought of eight months ago when he was busy playing big-time-athlete-businessman.

The issue, now, will focus on what the NCAA intends to do with Manziel once they conclude their investigation.

I can’t imagine they’ll let him continue his college career once they find him guilty which – without question – they’re going to do at some point soon.

This is the point where I’ll point out – CLEARLY – that Manziel hasn’t yet made any kind of statement on the situation.  I assume he’s rivaling George Zimmerman for “Hider of the Week”.  But, it will be important when he does comment, because that’ll tell us a lot about him, as a person.

Will he “man up” and say, “Yes, I took money for signing autographs.”?  Or, will he do what some of sports other great men have done — like Ryan Braun and Alex Rodriguez, most recently — and lie to us?

Maybe that shouldn’t matter but it does to me.

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10 Comments For This Post

  1. Craig from Abingdon Says:

    Heard a great quote last night, ” College is for LEARNING how to make money, not making money” All that kid had to do is keep his nose clean and he would have all the endorsement contracts and a top pick in the NFL. Now he’ll be lucky if he can get a back-up job for the Toronto Argonauts or a arena team, it’s a shame really…

  2. Ruben Says:

    I pretty much agree with 97% of what you posted. My gripe is medical coverage after the student athlete’s eligibility is up. As I understand the rules, if a kid suffers a crippling injury playing or praticing his/her sport, the school picks up his health costs while he/she is eligible. Once that’s done, the former athlete is on their own since workman comp does not apply. If the injury is severe enough and the kid is eligible for SSI, that is he is unable to be gainfully employed because of his injury, he then is eligible for Medicaid. Which means the taxpayers ultimately foot the medical bill for the rest of his life.

  3. Steve from Sandpoint Says:

    Put a fork in this kid, he’s done. And no, speed cameras are not right & either is 3.70 for a gallon of gas, unbelievable !!!

  4. Jason Manelli Says:

    What a dummy. Speaking as someone who worked part time while in college full time and is still paying back student loans 10 years later and will be for the foreseeable future, Manziel you don’t know what you’ve got, until it’s gone! If someone gave me a full scholarship I would make damn sure my actions wouldn’t cause it to be taken back. You live on campus, all food, medical and housing is covered, you’re the BMOC bagging all the quail you can handle, who needs money?!

  5. Kolo Jezdec Says:

    Cry me a river about schools making money from athletes. These athletes are getting a ‘free’ education, costing more than $100,000 at some schools, plus health care and etc. And they have to work hard at practice and staying in shape? Boo Hoo! If these athletes don’t like the deal (and the rules), do what thousands of people do – pay your own way to college, working 35 hours or more per week to pay for it, with no health insurance, and likely graduate deep in debt. Then in 25 years or so, you can happily and gratefully (gratefully because you are successful enough to do so) work your butt off to help pay for your own kids’ college education because you did not have the foresight to give birth to children who possess enough natural athletic ability to get a scholarship. Of course, you will also learn to appreciate the value of hard work and education and what it takes to be successful, instead of being born on 3rd base and thinking you hit a single and stole 2 bases to get there.

    The only ‘punishment’ Manziel is likely to experience is being forced to sit around until May 2014 when some NFL team will draft him and make him a millionaire.

    As for valid speed camera tickets, a voluntary tax, IMO.

  6. pgavin Says:

    Spot on. The rules that are in place in the NCAA are NOT the question. They(the rules) exist in a world that, in reality are not even close to what college sports are today. Money has corrupted the whole process. Football and Basketball are the minor leagues for their two sports…and certainly are played in a professional way.

    930pm games on a school night? Traveling across country on a charter? Luxury Hotels on the road? Special training tables? Sure seems like a professional team and NOT college students. The whole thing is a joke. Add the fact that questionable “student athletes” with criminal histories are let loose on college campuses. A parent would have to think twice sending their child to one of these big schools where criminality runs amok (and as we have seen, covered up).

    It is a runaway train and it is odd that Johnny M. was outed. He must have made someone angry at Texas A&M. I guess He was a “MINING” major as he was trying to mine some gold.

  7. Gil From Perry Hall Says:

    I disagree that “The School” as the sole answer to the questions, especially as it relates to who pays. Having been a parent of many college students, when I see a bill which contains a greater than $150 athletic fee assessed EACH semester, I have a hard time saying it is the school that pays. When you consider a school of 20,000 students, that equates to $6,000,000 on an annual basis. It may not be the majority of the revenue or major

  8. Gil From Perry Hall Says:

    or majority of the expense, but it ain’t chicken feed.

  9. BK Says:

    The schools pay for it, but only with the money the athletes made for the school in huge TV contracts, endorsements, merchandising, etc. So who is ‘really’ paying for it? It ain’t the school brother, that is for sure. They are only the check endorser.

    Regardless of that, Manziel is an absolute idiot. I don’t like half the rules our corrupted national and local government makes, but we abide by them the best we can. That is all Manziel had to do for one more year. Bitch about the rules all you want, just follow them for now and you are set for life.

  10. Dan Says:

    Sheesh , I got the darn quiz wrong , I was sure it was the State taxpayers who paid all those expenses . The taxpayers and the MENS Sports Programs . I thought that was where the money came from .

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