Report: A&M’s Manziel Denied Taking Money For Autographs, But Could His Interview Have Given The NCAA With A New Option?
August 27th, 2013 12:30 PM║ Posted By: John Pennington ║ Permalink
║ Schools: Texas A&M
Tags: Deion Sanders, Dez Bryant, Johnny Manziel, NCAA
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. CBSSports.com’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.
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