Here’s one for you fans of alternate history novels. If Johnny Manziel hadn’t been quarterbacking Texas A&M last year, would the Aggies have had any chance of going 11-2? Would A&M be recruiting quite so well right now? Would Aggie fans have been as happy with their SEC move had their team suffered through a .500-ish season (as most had predicted last summer)? Would the Aggies have upset Alabama in Tuscaloosa? Would the Heisman Trophy ever go to a freshman? Heck, who would have been sitting courtside at all those NBA games and throwing out all those first pitches at baseball games this offseason?
And so on.
Well, according to a source speaking with SportsDay, a website run by The Dallas Morning News, that alternate reality almost became plain ol’ reality last offseason. Over the summer of 2012, Manziel was arrested in College Station’s bar district. He was initially suspended by TAMU and “would have felt it was necessary to transfer” had the suspension not been overturned on appeal. The athletic department had nothing to do with the suspension or its reversal. According to the paper, it was the dean of student life who ruled in the quarterback’s favor.
The arrest has been public knowledge. The supension/transfer/reversal is the new information. Head coach Kevin Sumlin has said that he wound up imposing his own discipline on the QB for the arrest.
Manziel was arrested for misdemeanors of fighting, failure to identify and possession of fake IDs last June 29th.
Fans being fans, we’re certain many an Aggie-backer will convince himself that A&M would have been just fine without Manziel. But the reality is — if the source is correct — Texas A&M was thisclose to entering the 2012 season without the player who wound up taking the college football world by storm. And it’s unlikely the Aggies’ entry into the SEC would have gone near as smoothly without him.