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Manziel treated fairly?

By Larry Pritchett
Past PCHS activities director

Would college football survive without the NCAA? Would the NCAA survive without college football? How about other money making sports that the NCAA controls?
The NCAA enforcement department has been busy through the years, much of that time spent at Miami and Penn State, making decisions that sometimes seem fair and then sometimes you wonder how they come up with the decision that they do.
There has been a movement among some schools to replace the NCAA with some other kind of governing body. I am not sure that is the answer nor am I sure that what is going on now is even close to what is needed.
During the past few weeks there has been story after story printed, and programs aired on ESPN about ‘Johnny Football’ Manziel getting paid to sign different items that then go on sale at various places. The NCAA has a rule that says that is illegal. Is that a good rule? I don’t know.
The NCAA has no problem with selling jerseys in Texas A&M colors with Manziel’s number on it.
Manziel, as you know, was the Heisman Trophy winner last year as a freshman. That isn’t done very often. He isn’t an inner-city kid with no help from home with expenses at college.
Supposedly, his family has plenty of oil dollars and his school car is a Mercedes Benz. When the story of him signing items for cash broke, he was credited with a statement, “I wanted some rims for my car.” That kind of sounded as if he had signed and had received ‘rim’ money.
Now the NCAA is saying that he didn’t get paid, BUT he is going to be punished by having to set out the first half of the opening game with Rice. I just don’t know if he can do that without being scarred for life.
Is the rule kind of goofy? Yes, I think so, but it is a rule. He either did it or he didn’t. Here is where I have some problems with how the NCAA works.
In 2009 Dezmond Bryant had dinner with Deon Sanders and the NCAA quizzed him about it and wondered if he had made contacts with agents which also is against NCAA rules. Having dinner with Deon Sanders is not against the rules.
Bryant said panic set in and he did lie to the NCAA about having dinner with Sanders but he did not ever meet with any agents. His punishment was that he was made ineligible for the entire season because he lied to them but admitted it.
Ohio State players sold OSU gear and bought much needed tattoos and they missed games and their coach ended up getting fired. Admittedly, he also lied to the NCAA about what had happened and he is an adult so his penalty is greater.
OSU was also forbidden to play in a bowl game the next year thus punishing the entire team.
In 2010 All-American wide receiver A.J. Green from Georgia was suspended for four games because he sold one of his game jerseys for $1,000.
Manziel was fixing to buy rims. I would bet he got way more than a grand for his ink.
USC was suspended from any offseason play in 2011 because of Reggie Bush’s violations and Bush had to give back his Heisman.
All of the above had infractions.
They broke the rules but Manziel is going to pay his debt to the NCAA by not playing in the first half of the RICE game. There are perks to playing in the SEC and being a star it seems.
Players have given back their Heisman trophy, been suspended for four or five games, coaches lost their jobs but Johnny Football is going to sit out the first half of the RICE game. Staggering punishment.
Do you realize how many things take longer than the time Manziel will sit out? Just a few would be: 1. Halftime at the Super Bowl; 2. Three calls to Geico; 3. Cooking time for Janet Beck’s meatloaf and 4. A lightning delay at any high school football game.
I hope that slap on Manziel’s wrist wasn’t on his throwing hand or they might have ruined his career.