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Time magazine makes Manziel 'Johnny Cover Boy'

September 05, 2013|By Chris Dufresne
  • Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel celebrates a play last November.
Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel celebrates a play last November. (Gary Cosby Jr. / Associated…)

Time magazine caught up with the Johnny Manziel story by featuring the Texas A&M quarterback on its cover with another turn-back-the-clock idea: "It's Time to Pay College Athletes."

Wow, what a concept.

Time has entered the dangerous area of using Manziel, not a sympathetic figure, to promote an idea that sounds easy but is as complicated as the day is long.

The idea that Manziel, a player who comes from a family with money, should be the poster boy for this cause makes a lot of people uncomfortable.

The "alleged" reports by ESPN sources had Manziel signing autographs for money so he could buy new rims for his expensive car.

This is not exactly Rosa Parks refusing to give up her bus seat.

Those who parachute in from the outside on this "pay for play" issue are always short on details and fail to answer the larger question of "how?"

Time suggests maybe paying only the football and basketball players because they bring in most of the revenue. If they want, they can hand out lunch money to the volleyball team.

You may see that as an answer but all I see are lawsuits.

What about federal legal issues such as Title IX for women? And the fact that most athletic departments lose, not make, money?

And the fact that some universities are private, some are public?

The answer might be as simple as cutting every college program except football and basketball. Make everything else a club sport.

There, that settles it.

It's fine that Time is devoting time and space to an issue that needs discussion. It's as fun as those existential cover examinations such as "Does God Really Exist?" Or "Is 60 the new 30?"

There may very well be a fair way to pull this pay-for-play thing off.

I just haven't seen one yet, but I've only looking for about 30 years.


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