Up until last year the idea of a freshman winning the Heisman trophy was ridiculous. However, Johnny Manziel left no doubts in voters last year and took home the prize by a wide margin, becoming the first freshman to win the coveted trophy.
His future seemed to be incredibly bright and many were already labeling “Johnny Football” as the next great quarterback prodigy. The day after winning the Heisman Manziel took to twitter.
“Never forgetting where I came from and NO MATTER where I’m headed I promise to stay the same,” Manzeil, tweeted.
Since then, it has seemed like something has surfaced everyday that’s against according to NCAA regulations, or just society in general. There have been reports of Manziel drinking heavily, as a twenty-year-old, and that he has been drinking to deal with the stresses that have come with his new-found fame.
Attention started to shine his way on January 4, 2013. Manziel and his Texas A&M; Aggies destroyed the Oklahoma Sooners in The Cotton Bowl, 41-13. Manziel demolished many bowl records and played one of the greatest games BCS history.
He completed 22 out of his 34 passes for 287 yards and two touchdowns. Manziel also added 229 rushing yards and two touchdowns on only 17 carries.
All seemed well until later that night when he posted a photo of him at a casino with a huge wad of cash. Then, later in the evening, another photo surface of Manziel drinking off of a bottle of champagne. Still only 20 at the time.
Then, in February, it came out that Manziel was only taking online classes because he could not deal with the stress of being a campus celebrity. Just last month, a video came out of him being kicked out of a frat party at his rival school, University of Texas, Austin.
Manziel’s only arrest came before his historic season last year. The most recent issue, which is still being investigated, alleges that he took money to sign footballs for a vendor. This would be a violation of the NCAA’s rules on the amateurism of college athletes.
Through all this, Texas A&M; only plans to suspend Manziel for the first half of the opening game. Yet, it has been confirmed by A&M; that he will keep his job as starting quarterback the teams first game Saturday.
Earlier in the year, Notre Dame kicked their star quarterback, Everett Golson, off of the team and out of the university for academic dishonesty. This is the same guy that led that team to a National Championship game appearance.
Ohio State University also suspended their starting running back Carlos Hyde for three games to start the year. Hyde was facing some legal troubles, but the charges were dropped. The school still decided to go through with the suspension for what they deemed conduct that did not represent what the university stands for.
The NCAA will most likely not find grounds to suspend Manziel. If he took cash to sign the footballs, there still may not be proof.
If these problems were going on with the backup quarterback, would he still be on the team? No student athlete should be treated any differently than the others. They are all students under the same rules and restrictions.
Granted, Manziel is the biggest thing to hit college football in as long as i can remember. However, when someone is playing at this level and is in the spotlight this much, there is a certain responsibility that comes along with it. Manziel needs to represent himself in a manner that can show he will be able to handle it as a pro.
If the university continues to allow him to do as he pleases, just because he brings in a great deal of football revenue, then matters can get much worse. If the school truly cares about their students more than as athletes, they would do something about this.
Texas A&M; needs to step in and not allow Manziel to play until he can prove that he is ready to handle this pressure. if they allow him to play this whole season, he will probably put up even better stats than he did last year.
Stepping in and suspending him will no doubt hurt the football program right now, but could potentially save Manziel’s career, and maybe even life in the long run.