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What should Texas A&M do about the Johnny Manziel situation?

August 14, 2013
  • Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel is reportedly under investigation by the NCAA for signing autographs for money.
Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel is reportedly under investigation… (Dave Einsel / Associated…)

Writers from around the Tribune Co. discuss what, if anything, Texas A&M should do about Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Johnny Manziel, who is reportedly being investigated by the NCAA for allegedly signing autographs for money. Feel free to join the conversation by leaving a comment of your own.

Chris Dufresne, Los Angeles Times

This isn't a draft, but Texas A&M is officially "on the clock" with Johnny Manziel. Do the Aggies play him or not play him? The consequences of playing Manziel if he turns out to be ineligible could subject the program to sanctions and forfeitures. Ask USC about Reggie Bush.

The one luxury A&M has is it doesn't need Manziel until Game 3, when Alabama comes to College Station on Sept. 14. Here's what I would do: If the case isn't resolved by Aug. 31 the school should sit Manziel for the Rice opener because the Aggies should be able to win anyway. If the case isn't resolved by the next week, the school should sit Manziel for Sam Houston State (another easy win).

If the case still isn't resolved A&M should play Manziel against Alabama. No matter what happens, the NCAA couldn't say couldn't say A&M did not take the matter seriously, but it would also be a major violation to deny the world Manziel vs. Alabama while the foot-dragging NCAA tries to interview uncooperative witnesses.    

Jeff Barker, Baltimore Sun

I'm so tempted to adopt a thoroughly rogue approach and say, "No, let Johnny Football be." Perhaps that way I'd make a point about how playing college football often amounts to a full-time job without the pay.

Lets face it -- most of the top NFL prospects are in college to play ball, not attend chemistry lab. And their schools profit from them immensely. If you relaxed the compensation rules or paid players a stipend and called them "work study," they wouldn't be as tempted to stray.

But rules are rules and if it is found Manziel violated them, then he has to face consequences, even if the rules ought to be revisited.

Matt Murschel, Orlando Sentinel

It seems every passing day, the mountain of memorabilia evidence continues to grow against Johnny Manziel. As the NCAA wades through the allegations against the Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback, Texas A&M must carefully consider what — if anything — it must do to avoid putting wins during the upcoming season in jeopardy.

If the school’s compliance office quickly determines Manziel’s situation is as bad as it looks from the outside, the school must act now or risk erasing the entire team’s hard work. Sit Manziel for the first two games of the season as an act of contrition. Seek the mercy of the NCAA, hoping the two-game suspension would suffice.

If Texas A&M officials turn a blind eye, play Manziel and he is ruled ineligible, all of Texas A&M’s wins would be forfeited and the NCAA may inclined to tack on more punishment.

Teddy Greenstein, Chicago Tribune

Texas A&M should have announced at its Aug. 5 media day that Johnny Manziel would be suspended pending an investigation.

The kid needs a wakeup call; someone needs to tell him "no" for his own good. His parents won’t do that. They are his enablers-in-chief. His “personal assistant” won’t. So far about the only people who have knocked any sense into him are the ones who ran him out of a fraternity party at the University of Texas.

ESPN has reported that Manziel took part in six signing sessions and inked his name to more than 4,000 items for collectors. Think he participated out of the goodness of his heart? Either Manziel is guilty of breaking one of college sports’ most black-and-white rules, or there has been a colossal misunderstanding.

A&M Coach Kevin Sumlin needs to send the right message to Manziel and his players.

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