December 21st, 2012 10:38 AM║ Posted By: John Pennington ║ Permalink
║ Schools: Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi State, Missouri, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt
Tags: Johnny Manziel, Kerr Incidentally, NCAA, SEC
At last night’s NBA game between the Miami Heat and the Dallas Mavericks, there sat Texas A&M quarterback and recent Heisman Trophy-winner Johnny Manziel courtside. How do we know it was Manziel? Because TNT analyst and ex-Arizona player Steve Kerr identified him and then questioned how a college student could afford such a pricey ticket (depending on the game, those things typically run between $500 and $1000).
Here’s a transcript of what Kerr and broadcast partners Mike Fratello and Marv Albert had to say about Manziel’s presence on the floor…
Kerr: “Incidentally, talking about Johnny Manziel, how does a college kid get courtside seats to a Mavs game? Those are expensive seats. I’m just gonna throw that out there.”
Fratello: “Trying to get someone in trouble here?”
Kerr: “No, I’m just, just, just because he’s playing in the SEC now I’m not going to insinuate anything.”
Fratello: “That sound like there’s anger. That’s anger. There’s anger in that voice.”
Kerr: “That’s not how it works in the SEC?”
Albert: “Is it not possible that a friend, a buddy, took him to the game?”
Kerr: “It’s possible. But there are a lot of things that are possible.”
Naturally, Twitter blew up. And Manziel chose to respond by saying he bought the ticket for himself:
Whether Manziel bought the seat for himself or not, Kerr asked a legitimate question. The problem is that he sounded like a jerk for doing so. In this day and age, it’s likely Manziel’s presence at the game — in a courtside seat — would have gotten a lot of attention with or without Kerr’s insinuation that the SEC is a cesspool and that A&M’s quarterback must’ve been given the ticket in violation of an NCAA rule.
For SEC fans, this is a good example of why SEC presidents — like those in the Big Ten — indeed care about constantly upping their league’s academic reputation. It’s an example of why those SEC presidents voted against their football coaches and implemented a “soft cap” on football signees to cut down on oversigning by just a bit. (If you don’t believe it’s a “soft cap” thanks to back-counting and the like, there are two SEC schools with more than 30 commitments at the moment… that’s entering the Houston Nutt zone.)
It’s hard to change public perception. And thanks to many SEC programs getting themselves into NCAA hot water over the years — coupled with a smidge of jealousy from outsiders — Mike Slive’s league still has the reputation for being a dirty conference. Comments on national television from broadcasters like Kerr only promulgate that stereotype.
Here’s the video the back-and-forth between TNT’s commentators last night:
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