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Report: A&M’s Manziel Denied Taking Money For Autographs, But Could His Interview Have Given The NCAA With A New Option?

johnny-manziel-holds-ball-smilesFile this one under: Duh!

As reported earlier today, Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel met with NCAA investigators for nearly six hours on Sunday to discuss allegations that he was paid money in exchange for signing thousands of items for autograph brokers this offseason.’s Bruce Feldman reports that — not surprisingly — Manziel denied the allegations.

Now that Manziel has denied the charges, there’s a new worry on the table for the Heisman-winner and Texas A&M officials.  Let’s say the NCAA really doesn’t want to suspend Manziel for selling his signature because doing so would open up a skyscraper-sized can of worms.  But let’s also say that the NCAA knows — or thinks it knows — that the QB did get paid for his signature and they do want to punish him for something.

What to do?

It’s possible that somewhere in Manziel’s epic meeting with the NCAA he could have provided false information to investigators.  Perhaps he was as evasive in the meeting room as he is on the football field.  In that case, the Dez Bryant scenario could be repeated.

Bryant — a former star receiver at Oklahoma State — was questioned/interrogated by the NCAA and was found to have lied about a meeting he had with ex-NFL great Deion Sanders.  At the time Bryant was being investigated for possible connections to an agent.  No direct ties were found.  However, Bryant was not truthful with investigators — a major no-no — about meeting with Sanders, a man with his own ties to agents.  The NCAA wound up suspending Bryant for the final 10 games of his career because the governing body didn’t feel he was forthright with investigators.

If Manziel provided any conflicting information or any information that the NCAA knows to be false, it’s conceivable the body could suspend the A&M player for dishonesty while avoiding the aforementioned major can o’ worms that an autograph-based suspension would no doubt create.

Here’s still hoping that Manziel is cleared to play and life gets back to normal in College Station and in the SEC.

But if the NCAA is looking for a way to punish a player it believes to be guilty without actually creating a “now you gotta check every autograph everywhere” scenario, it could simply say that Manziel was not truthful in his interview regarding some random point.  If, of course, Manziel wasn’t truthful in his interview regarding… some… random… point.




Yeah, I think you nailed it. Before I type the rest of this, my bias is 1) I think Manziel did sign stuff for people he knew were going to make money off it (an NCAA violation) and 2) most likely got paid for some of it. I do not think those are huge violations, but they are violations.

Now, I've read and heard three different opinions today on who probably benefits the most from this deposition (and I think it was a deposition that ran for 6 hours). Most of the opinions run the "both sides were protecting their rears" thread, assuming the NCAA was just doing this to say they had done all they could to investigate the charges, which is the best they could do absent supena powers.

You're the first to mention the "cover up is worse than the crime." angle. That's the one I'd be most afraid of if I was a Manziel fan. I'll admit up front that I'm a former Manziel fan, after the stupidity and immaturity displayed by the guy this summer I just can't get excited about the guy, but don't take this as an "I hope he gets burned," post. Its not. My interest now is sort of tangential, looking to see the character of the guy.What I would hope would have happened (and it probably did not), was the NCAA would have started off saying, "If you did it and own up to it, we'll give you a two game suspension and 100 Hail Mary's," and then we could see what Manziel would do. Since my bias is I think he did the signings for a payoff, the best that would have come from this is a couple of game suspension. He did it, fessed up, took his medicine, then I'd be impressed.

If he denied it all, and he's innocent, God Bless him, I got it wrong. But after listening to him at SEC Media Days, there just is a lingering suspicion he just might not get it all right in a deposition. Hope that is not the case, but the last sentence in your post is what I'd be worried about if I was an Manziel guy.


  1. […] the wake of the Johnny Manziel NCAA investigation, Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin says it’s time for his team to come […]

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