On Sunday, NCAA investigators and Texas A&M’s Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Johnny Manziel spent a nearly 6 hour period discussing recent allegations from memorabilia brokers that Manziel received money for signing autographs last January as reported by ESPN.
He denied the claims, but his future is still uncertain as the NCAA has not released whether his actions were considered in violation of NCAA Bylaw 18.104.22.168. With Saturday’s game against Rice looming, CBS Sports reports that the Aggies have ‘no plans’ to take Johnny Football out of the starting lineup. He has continued practicing as normal with the first team in preparation for this weekend. An NCAA decision to rule him ineligible after the fact could push them to vacate the wins he participated in, but the verdict will likely arrive before kickoff on Saturday according to SEC Blog Saturday Down South.
Until then, Texas A&M coaches and athletes are keeping mum about the status of their quarterback.
“The focus of our coaches and student athletes is solely on preparing for Rice this Saturday, and in the best interests of Texas A&M and the 100-plus student-athletes on the team, I have instructed Coach Sumlin, his staff and our student-athletes to refrain from commenting on or answering questions regarding the status of our starting quarterback, Johnny Manziel,” athletic director Eric Hyman said in a prepared statement.
According to ESPN, reporters questioned Manziel’s status anyway during Tuesday’s press conference only to hear a resolute “We’re not discussing that,” from head coach Kevin Sumlin.
The season opener for the Aggies is set to kickoff Saturday at noon in College Station against Rice University.