Johnny Manziel is going to miss a half of football this weekend, according to Billy Liucci:
Latest on Manziel? Per multiple sources, he'll be suspended for first half of season-opener versus Rice on Saturday.— Billy Liucci (@billyliucci) August 28, 2013
The report was confirmed by ESPN's Brett McMurphy, who added:
Manziel 1st half suspension "closes the book" on Manziel/autograph saga. NCAA acknowledges Manziel did not accept money, source said— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) August 28, 2013
So that's it. Manziel gets about as short a suspension as is possible despite being found innocent of taking money for signing autographs. Liucci's theory on it is as follows:
Still awaiting final resolution (confirmation from A&M or NCAA) but assuming suspension would involve secondary violation of by-law 18.104.22.168— Billy Liucci (@billyliucci) August 28, 2013
Bylaw 22.214.171.124 is here. It requires that athletes do their best to prevent the sale of items with their names or likenesses on them, with only photographs for the news and such being excluded. Manziel obviously wasn't taking care to make sure his autographed items weren't being sold, so maybe they got him on this.
We'll update once official word gets out, but a silly scandal gets a fittingly silly end. He probably was always going to play in only a half against Rice; now it'll just be the second one instead of the first.
Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel will be suspended for the first half of the Aggies' season-opening game against Rice on Saturday for an "inadvertent violation" of NCAA rules regarding autograph signing, a school official confirmed to USA TODAY Sports. ...
[A&M senior associate athletic director Jason] Cook said the inadvertent violation, related to the commercial use of his name, has not been applied before. Texas A&M and the NCAA agreed on the suspension, Cook said. He said the investigation is considered to be closed.
There you go. "Inadvertent".
One more, from McMurphy again:
To clarify: Manziel suspension for violating "spirit" of NCAA bylaw 126.96.36.199 & 188.8.131.52. NCAA couldn't prove he broke any rules source said— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) August 28, 2013