Well, we finally have the reasons that Johnny Manziel will be suspended for a half a game. Sort of. The NCAA and Texas A&M issued a joint statement not laying out the reasons for the suspension, but pretending to lay out the reasons for the suspension.
Texas A&M University and the NCAA confirmed today that there is no evidence that quarterback Johnny Manziel received money in exchange for autographs, based on currently available information and statements by Manziel. ...
NCAA rules are clear that student-athletes may not accept money for items they sign and based on information provided by Manziel, that did not happen in this case.
You got that? Johnny Manziel did nothing wrong, so he's suspended for a half a game. The statement does peg Johnny Football with an "inadvertent violation regarding the signing of certain autographs," but doesn't really say what that violation is, and says that the NCAA and Texas A&M won't comment any more. So it's not like anyone can ask them what happened.
The other consequences for Texas A&M and Manziel, and no I'm not making this up for purposes of parody:
- Manziel will address the team regarding the situation and lessons learned
- Texas A&M will revise its future education concerning student-athlete autographs for individuals with multiple items
Um, that'll learn 'em? For having the audacity to not intentionally do anything wrong?
A&M Chancellor John Sharp, perhaps you can clear this up for us?
I am proud of the way both Coach Sumlin and Johnny handled this situation, with integrity and honesty. We all take the Aggie Code of Honor very seriously and there is no evidence that either the university or Johnny violated that code.
So Johnny Manziel is being suspended for following the Aggie Code of Honor. He might be the first person in the history of higher education punished for not violating the honor code. Perhaps, defying all odds, the NCAA can bring some sanity and lucid commentary to this affair. What say you, NCAA Vice President of Academic and Membership Affairs Kevin Lennon?
Student-athletes are often asked for autographs from fans, but unfortunately, some individuals' sole motivation in seeking an autograph is for resale. It is important that schools are cognizant and educate student-athletes about situations in which there is a strong likelihood that the autograph seeker plans to resell the items.
I give up.