The NCAA’s investigation into whether or not reigning Heisman Trophy winner Johny Manziel accepted thousand of dollars to sign his name should be coming to a resolution soon. First, however, the governing body of intercollegiate sports has had to do its due-diligence.
According to ESPN investigative reporter Travis Haney (you will notice it is not Darren Rovell, who was ripped by Texas A&M chancellor John Sharp in an email), that includes spending six hours grilling the Texas A&M superstar in College Station.
The governing body’s officials met Sunday with Manziel, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, for nearly six hours on the College Station, Texas, campus, the source said. It was unclear whether the NCAA was satisfied with the initial meeting with Manziel or if it would require additional time with the redshirt sophomore.
The question in the matter is fairly straightforward: Are several autograph brokers all lying about the fact that they paid money to Manziel in exchange for his signature? In all, six brokers have claimed to have paid Johnny Football. However, in each case, not a penny has been brought forward as any actual evidence.
Perhaps Manziel let something slip to the NCAA during Sunday’s meetings (knowing Manziel’s ability to deflect, this likely didn’t happen). Perhaps the opposite, and the NCAA will be content to close the case and allow the quarterback to trot out under center for the Aggies’ season opener against Rice.
That nation does not know that answer at the moment, but it might very soon. At least according to a local sports radio host.
Manziel became the first ever freshman to win the Heisman Trophy in 2012 after amassing an SEC-record 5,116 total yards.
At this rate, however, fans will not be talking about his more than eight yards-per-play average as a teenager. Even if he is innocent, people will still point to this potential autographs scandal and frown.
Don’t believe us on that one? Just ask Cam Newton, who has never been charged with anything for his time at Auburn.
*Update* 9:07 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 27
According to Bruce Feldman of CBS Sports, citing sources close to Manziel, the quarterback denied signing autographs for pay. That might seem straightforward enough, but there was far more to the six-hour interrogation. Much of it centered around Manziel’s financial records. We do not know exactly what the NCAA has discovered quite yet.
As for the team, the Aggies continue to give Manziel most of A&M’s first-team reps as the program prepares for Rice.
“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.