Manziel suspended half game to conclude NCAA investigation
Published: Thursday, August 29, 2013
Updated: Thursday, August 29, 2013 14:08
Johnny Manziel will start the 2013 season in the second half of Texas A&M’s home opener against Rice University Saturday.
The reigning Heisman quarterback will serve a half game suspension issued by the NCAA Wednesday. The suspension concluded the association’s investigation determining whether or not Manziel profited from signing autographs at several locations including South Florida around the BCS title game.
“NCAA rules are clear that student-athletes may not accept money for items they sign, and based on information provided by Manziel, that did not happen in this case,” the NCAA said in a statement released Wednesday.
ESPN reports NCAA investigators interviewed Manziel for six hours Sunday, questioning the quarterback about the allegations leaked from memorabilia dealers before Aggie training camp.
Reporter Brett McMurphy first confirmed the ruling on Twitter.
McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) August 28, 2013
The NCAA’s suspension has received criticism from college football analysts claiming the suspension is a free past.
“Texas A&M should also be thankful. Not only did the university avoid the drama that surrounds a lengthy NCAA investigation, but losing its star quarterback for just the first half of the first game should also be viewed as a blessing from the sport’s governing body,” Bleacher Report columnist Donald Wood wrote.
Aggie Head Coach broke his silence on Tuesday discussing how Manziel handled the investigation and other reported incidents during the offseason.
“Johnny's handled it very well," Sumlin said. "Everything around football, he's been extremely sharp and focused.”
During the offseason Manziel struggled to stray from the spotlight after shoving a graduate assistant during practice in March, Tweeted negatively about Texas A&M in June and was dismissed from the Manning Passing Academy after missing meetings, followed by pleading guilty to a misdemeanor involving a bar fight in College Station.
Texas A&M will start either junior Matt Joeckel or freshman Kenny Hill in Saturday’s home opener.
Manziel’s playtime against Rice has not been determined.