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A&M’ers Comparing Manziel To Other Autograph Signers Are Off Base

gfx - honest opinionYesterday, South Carolina and its star defensive end Jadeveon Clowney were pulled into the Johnny Manziel autograph saga.  A number of websites — including the prominent Texas A&M fan site, GoodBullHunting.com — began reporting that Clowney had a hundreds of consecutively-numbered autographs available on the internet.  Predictably, more players and more autographs were soon targeted.

When I called out Texas A&M fans for using the rather childish and finkish “Well, he did it, too” defense, I was quickly told that those people asking questions about Clowney were actually exposing the inconsistency of both the NCAA and ESPN.

Uh, no they’re not.

Texas A&M’s Manziel made news on ESPN because that network’s reporters had learned that the Heisman-winner was under investigation by the NCAA.  Clowney and others — to our knowledge — are not under NCAA scrutiny.  There’s no double-standard there from ESPN.  Manziel is under investigation.  Other players are not.  Pretty big difference right there.

“Ah, so what about the NCAA’s double-standard, then?”

ESPN has found multiple people who’ve claimed that either a) they paid Team Manziel for autographs or b) they were asked to pay Team Manziel for autographs.  If ESPN heard enough rumors to track down some of the autograph brokers in question, you can be sure that the NCAA had heard enough about Manziel and cash transactions to start sniffing around.  In fact, ESPN has stated that the dealers they’ve spoken to have already been contacted by the NCAA, though they’ve apparently decided not to play snitch.  In other words, the NCAA was after these brokers before ESPN tracked them down.

Again, that’s not a double-standard.  Manziel was reportedly paid — or his main handler asked for payment — while there have been no claims that Clowney or others were paid… much less paid five figures.  That, too, is a pretty big difference between the cases.

Texas A&M fans are feeling what all fanbases feel when the NCAA or ESPN start snooping around their team.  They feel as though the world is unfairly out to get them because everybody hates them.

That’s a completely natural feeling when bad things could befall you.  It’s also completely ridiculous.

ESPN is not out to get Manziel.  They covered his football exploits ad nauseum last season.  Heisman voters saw all that coverage.  The network helped build him into a star.  (Though he took things the rest of the way by living a jetsetter’s lifestyle and tweeting back reports to a growing band of gawkers.)

Now that he’s become a superstar, Manziel’s every move makes news.  Does anyone really believe that any other Heisman-winner’s early departure from the Manning Passing Academy wouldn’t have been covered?  Anyone believe that some other Heisman-winner wouldn’t have had it mentioned when he tweeted that he wanted out of his college town?

Please.

Manziel has become a celebrity and when he spits in the road it becomes news.  That’s not ESPN or the media’s fault.  That’s just the way of the world.  As we’ve stated numerous times, a person can’t brag about his 400,000+ Twitter followers one minute and then complain that too many people are following his every move the next.

Still, even AggieYell.com — the Rivals.com site covering A&M — suggested earlier this week that ESPN launched its story on Sunday because the Aggies were breaking camp the next day.  For what purpose?  Because they really want to mess with Johnny Football and the Aggies?  How ’bout it aired on Sunday because ESPN’s “Outside The Lines” show — which airs on Sunday — got the story and wanted to run it before anyone else got it and ran it?  That seems a bit more realistic than an SEC-partner network attempting to scupper Texas A&M’s football season.

Think about this logically.  ESPN owns the vast majority of SEC games.  Manziel is one of the — if not the — biggest draws in the country.  Does anyone think that ESPN’s decision-makers want Manziel out of the picture so they won’t be able to use him and a good A&M squad to boost their ratings?

As for the NCAA, if someone comes forward to say that Clowney or AJ McCarron or Aaron Murray or any other player took $10,000+ for autographs you can bet those claims will be investigated, too.  To date, there have been no claims.  Though some might come now because Clowney and others have been unfairly pulled into this.

Those who said, “What about him?” weren’t pointing out ESPN or NCAA duplicity.  They were comparing apples to oranges.  Manziel is under investigation; Clowney isn’t.  Manziel reportedly took money; Clowney didn’t.

If someone claims that Clowney took cash, fine.  All the sleuths can start digging.  But until that happens, the sites talking about Clowney owe him an apology.

 


17 comments
Clarence
Clarence

Tolerance is a new found virtue in Aggieland.

Burn_It
Burn_It

This story is so overblown, it's tiring. Move on, there isn't anything here other than trumped up accusations of cash exchange with absolutely no proof.

HoustonVol
HoustonVol

WesAg95 - I have been to Bryan/CS many times in my years in Houston. Comparing Baton Rouge to College Station is laughable. There is little to College Station/Bryan that is not related to TAMU. They are one in the same, Aggieland. Baton Rouge is the Capitol of Louisiana and part of a large metro area. If you want to leave College Station, you are also leaving behind the school.

Just to Nitpick; JM did not get a ticket. The cop knocked on his door to allow JM to move his car to avoid a ticket. Wow, harsh treatment.

As for the Aggies, get used to this level of scrutiny. It comes to every SEC program. No one hates you all more than any other school. No one is rooting for you to fail, or trying to sabotage your season. No one is afraid of JM, except maybe his parents. I can promise you that every coach and team in the SEC wants TAMU's best players on the field and their best shot. It is no fun to beat an one legged dog.

StanTxAg
StanTxAg

I recognize now that you've just channeled your inner Walter Brennan and you have no intention of budging off your "Aggies are mean to Clowney"
position.

I'm sorry YOU got the news from a pro-Aggie web site (although other sites broke the story first) about the Clowney coincidence. Would you really feel better if you found out with a 24/7 splash by ESPN? Would Joe Schad saying he saw a movie of Clowney make it easier for you to accept? If NCAA had come to you and asked assistance in investigating USC, that would be, only then, a legitimate concern?  It's rampant in CFB, that has always been the ONLY point.  I pray no fowl comes to Manziel or Clowney.

Your "Hey Aggies, take one for the NCAA and shut up about it" is about as "finkish" as any one could imagine.  Thanks for reading, enjoy your site.

WesAg95
WesAg95

Here's just a question.  I've noticed that ESPN repeatedly says the following two thing, which I believe to be wrong.

JM pleaded guilty to being in a bar fight last summer.

JM tweeted that he wants to leave Texas A&M.

Or other things to that effect.  Now, I know those journalist over at ESPN are pretty good so I have a hard time thinking that this is an accident.  But maybe I'm wrong.

First of all, JM pleaded guilty to Failure to Identify Himself (having a false ID).  But the bar fight thing sure sounds better.  I know there was a fight, but that's not what he pleaded guilty to.  Second, JM was frustrated about a parking ticket and griped about College Station.  Not A&M.  Like no one from LSU has ever griped about the cops in Baton Rouge and I'm sure all the players at Florida get along with the fuzz in Gainesville.  LOL :)

Now maybe it' all just semantics, but it seems to me like if they weren't trying to sensationalize things then they should just say it right.   I don't really think ESPN is out to get anyone, but I would like to hear your thoughts on this.

Thanks for your insight. :)

WesAg95
WesAg95

BTW, I would like to point out that i appreciate your level headed responses, even if I wasn't being so level headed.  Heated or not, I always enjoy a good debate. LOL

I appreciate this from you too:  Personally, I think Manziel will be cleared and I hope that he is.  

Have a great day...

WesAg95
WesAg95

BTW, is it just A&M/JF you hate?  I'm still waiting on your scathing commentary on Les miles for letting Hill back on the team... 

jcgbmt2012
jcgbmt2012

The manner in which people present this information about Clowney and other players is wrong and I hate the "well he did it too" or the "Everyone hates us" approach. However, the information about Clowney and other players could be used positively for all involved. It was found out that Clowney signed memorabilia in bulk to some broker (probably even the same broker) just like Manziel. That is the only actions that have any sort of evidence for proof which is not a violation. The difference between the two players is brokers are claiming that they paid (or were asked to pay) manziel for these bulk signings. People are looking at the fact that Manziel signed items in bulk as the evidence that he was paid for it. That logic of "He must have been paid because look he signed items in bulk" can be debunked because Clowney signed items in bulk as well and South Carolina has determined that no wrong doing has occurred. When you read the www.goodbullhunting.com article about Clowney the title is "If Johnny Manziel signed bulk autographs, was he the only one?" In that article, Good Bull Hunting never suggested that Clowney did anything wrong. Just that Manziel wasn't the only one who signed items in bulk so don't look at that fact and say "Since he signed in bulk he must have been paid for it." I believe this is called a "Hasty Generalization" in the world of literary fallacies.

HoustonVol
HoustonVol

Thank you for keeping it real. There are a lot of Aggie fans that are high on the hog right now. They have finally been able to stake their own claim outside of TX shadow, and they are enjoying the spotlight. Well they enjoyed the spotlight until it got to close and you realize those bulbs are hot and can burn. It is a double edge sword in college sports. The higher you soar, the more likely something will be uncovered in your program. The underside of college sports, agents, signature wranglers, $50 handshakers, are drawn to the biggest programs. Why? That is where they can make the most money. An agent/SW, etc is not going to pay money to the 3rd string linebacker at UTSA because he has no chance of a pro career, and no one will buy anything with his signature. So keep in mind that the bigger the stars, the brighter the lights, the more the program comes under scrutiny.

WesAg95
WesAg95

@HoustonVol Sure, leaving CS is leaving behind A&M, which is what he said.  However, he was showing his frustration with CS, which is not exactly the same thing as being frustrated or mad at the school.  Sure, it's a fine line, but one that ESPN could get right if they wanted to.  Also, I'm not saying the he was treated harshly.  In fact, I do believe much of this is completely his fault.  Rich boy and his Mercedes should have been parked in the right place to begin with.  But he's our rich boy and I just wish ESPN would get it right.

Also, as everyone has said over and over and over again...  NO ONE has had this level of scrutiny before.  This I all new territory. I agree with you though that no one is trying to sabotage us and I do believe that the SEC is the kind of league with the kind of teams that wants their best shot at you while you're at your best.

Best of luck to the Vols (the REAL UT) and the Aggies this year!!

StanTxAg
StanTxAg

@HoustonVol I grew up in College Station and went to A&M.  There wasn't a day as a young man when I couldn't wait to get out of that place and see the world, make my way, however you want to put it.  Never meant I "hated" the place except in exasperation, which, if you remember, is a characteristic of youth.  You don't know what Manziel felt and really, you don't know what happened that night, nor do I.  More importantly, why would it even be news?  The times we live in.

StanTxAg
StanTxAg

Foul, I mean't foul.  Although, a Gamecock is a fowl, uhmmmm.  Best wish to both schools!

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator

@WesAg95 

If you saw this as "hateful" you're way too close to the situation.  

You have completely missed the point by saying that A&M fans "were only debunking the theory that JM must have been paid because he signed so many things."  

That's not the issue.  The issue is that brokers have claimed Manziel received cash or that his handler requested cash.  There's no "well, he must've done this" to debunk when it comes to signing autographs.  He is accused of asking for or receiving cash.  The NCAA had already tried to contact the brokers involved by the time ESPN contacted them.

A&M fans are trying to compare apples to apples, but the situations are apples and oranges.

As for being a "HATER," how is that?  Did I say or suggest that Manziel is guilty anywhere in the above piece?  No.  Not in the least.  I stated that he's being investigated.  And he is which makes that factual, not negative or "hating."

Personally, I think Manziel will be cleared and I hope that he is.  I've also written that I wish he was getting better leadership from the adults in his life.  I would argue I'm more concerned with Manziel's longterm well being than those folks who are simply worried about him stepping on a football field.

Thanks for reading,

John

WesAg95
WesAg95

You must be right. :)  I did miss those and will go read now.

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator

@WesAg95 

"People have said."  What do you care?  The only people who matter are the ones on the NCAA's investigative unit.

You come here and throw stuff around about me being anti-A&M when no one has been more pro-A&M than me.  I wrote long before last season that A&M and the SEC were a match made in heaven.  I wrote repeatedly that A&M is akin to LSU in the pre-Saban days... a school with the tradition, facilities, great recruiting base and fan passion to pass Texas.  Before last season I called A&M a dormant volcano and a sleeping giant.  

But do you credit me for all those many, many columns?  No.  Point being -- you wrote junk about me and this website which isn't close to the truth.  Yet you're mad that someone is doing the same thing to Manziel.

I don't know that what I wrote was flippant.  I was trying to make it clear that the situations are different and that A&M fans simply need to be use logic when processing the situation.  For doing so, you called me a "HATER" and a "WHORE."  

You took offense to something that would only be offensive to someone who was indeed doing just what I was pointing out... which is attempting to compare apples to oranges.

I've given Manziel the benefit of the doubt here.  If others haven't, maybe you should go and toss some insults at them.  All I did was point out facts.  And like 'em or not, they are facts.

And if the NCAA can't come up with proof that Manziel was paid or that someone in his camp asked for money, it's also a fact that he'll be playing again this fall.

John

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