Johnny Football is in the news again. But this time, as Paul Harvey used to say, there’s the rest of the story.
Johnny Manziel, the Heisman-winning quarterback at Texas A&M, is accused of signing memorabilia for cash, which is clearly against NCAA rules. Allegedly, the NCAA is looking into the accusations, and could decide to suspend Manziel from playing in the coming season.
The NCAA rules are clear, and if Manziel actually did sign items for payment, he knew he was breaking the rules. What strikes me about this story, though, is the blatant hypocrisy exhibited by Texas A&M. From one of many news stories reporting on this:
The value of Manziel is clear in the memorabilia and appearance market: Independent merchandiser Aggieland Outfitters recently auctioned off six helmets signed by Manziel and Texas A&M’s other Heisman Trophy winner, John David Crow, for $81,000. Texas A&M’s booster organization, the 12th Man Foundation, sold a table for six, where Manziel and Crow will sit at the team’s Kickoff Dinner later this month, for $20,000. (emphasis added)
So — it’s against the rules for a college football player to make money off his abilities while in school, but it’s perfectly okay for the school to make even more money off the player? The school can grab 20 large ones from some sap of a fan, but Manziel gets busted for signing his name?
Manziel may wind up punished in some way by the NCAA. If that happens, I hope they go after the school and the booster organization as well. And if they don’t, I hope Manziel sues them over the double standard, and brings the hypocrisy into the open. It’s time for this double standard to end.