Last year Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel was unheard of and was not even the projected starter. After proving the pundits wrong and winning some big games, Manziel became an instant celebrity capping off a remarkable season with the Heisman Trophy. Since the Cotton Bowl victory, Manziel has struggled with his new found glory. Most notably, Manziel is facing allegations that he was paid a significant amount of cash to sign autographs for several memorabilia dealers. This past weekend, NCAA officials traveled to College Station and grilled Manziel for over six hours regarding his relationship with certain memorabilia dealers.
As the case is still pending, the Aggies are contemplating whether or not to sideline Manziel for this Saturday’s home opener against Rice. Coach Sumlin is listing Manziel as the starter and will play him until the NCAA makes a ruling, which can come as soon as Wednesday.
Texas A&M is not the first to deal with a memorabilia scandal. Most recently, Ohio State and Georgia were two programs that felt the wrath of the NCAA for off-the-field issues. The Buckeyes faced player suspensions, post-season play and the forfeiture of wins as a result of players receiving cash and discounted tattoos in exchange for memorabilia. Georgia’s AJ Green faced a four game suspension for selling one game-worn jersey for $1,000. If it is decided Manziel received large sums of money for selling his autograph, it will dwarf any prior memorabilia scandal.
Perhaps as early as Wednesday Manziel and the college football world will learn his fate.