Johnny Manziel has not been able to escape the spotlight since his breakout, Heisman-winning season last fall. However, recently, what he’s been doing off the field has been of more concern. During the summer, Manziel tweeted negatively about College Station, was kicked out of a fraternity party in Austin, and missed some drills at the Manning Passing Camp.
But, the cherry on top of his controversial off-season is accusations of signing -and recieving payment for- around 4,000 items for a sports memorabilia broker.
If the accusations are true, Manziel would, at the least, have to sit out several games for violating the NCAA’s amateurism rules. The NCAA met with Manziel and his lawyers (from the Lightfoot, Franklin and White firm of Cam Newton fame) for six hours on Sunday. And, the NCAA said it would give a play or no-play recommendation to Texas A&M by Wednesday. The quick turn around could mean that the NCAA has substantial evidence to make a decision soon, or that they are hitting a dead end.
Meanwhile, the Aggies are practicing as if Manziel was a sure thing but won’t say yay or nay on whether they plan on Manziel to start on Saturday. And Manziel is also working on his personal image after his wild summer saying, “It’s time to grow up.” His teammates are also vouching for him. Damontre Moore, a former All-American at Texas A&M currently with the New York Giants, described Manziel as “down to earth” and a “class guy.” Also, Moore told collegesportsblog, “He didn’t do anything wrong,” backing up Manziel’s denials of the NCAA allegations. A&M running back Ben Malena told Fox Sports, ”The off the field issues doesn’t bother us not one bit when it comes to a team aspect” and touted his leadership in the locker room.