In case you haven’t heard, the NCAA thinks we’re morons:
Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Johnny Manziel of No. 7 Texas A&M has been suspended for the first half of Saturday’s season opener against the Rice Owls, A&M and the NCAA announced Wednesday in a joint statement.
The statement said there was no evidence that Manziel received payment for signing autographs.
The NCAA and A&M agreed on the one-half suspension because Manziel violated NCAA bylaw 188.8.131.52, an NCAA representative confirmed. The rule says student-athletes cannot permit their names or likenesses to be used for commercial purposes, including to advertise, recommend or promote sales of commercial products, or accept payment for the use of their names or likenesses.
There is no truth to the rumor that Manziel’s other punishment options included no pre game meal or spending an hour on his bed “thinking about what he’d done.”
According to the report, Manziel violated ol’ bylaw 184.108.40.206. Here’s what that bylaw says:
Bylaw 220.127.116.11 Advertisements and Promotions Subsequent to Enrollment. Subsequent to becoming a student-athlete, an individual shall not be eligible for participation in intercollegiate athletics if the individual:
a. Accepts any remuneration for or permits the use of his or her name or picture to advertise, recommend or promote directly the sale or use of a commercial product or service of any kind, or
b. Receives remuneration for endorsing a commercial product or service through the individual’s use of such product or service.
Based on what has been reported so far, option “b.” doesn’t seem applicable. Option “a.” can act as sort of a catch-all with two major components: student-athletes being paid directly for use of their likeness or the student-athlete allowing their likeness to be used by others to make money.
So, based on the above, Manziel either pocketed money for his autographs, or he signed a bunch of stuff and knew it would be sold. Whatever he did earned him a suspension of one whole half of a football game.
Like I said above, the NCAA thinks we are morons.
You still don’t understand? Well, consider the case of former Georgia All-American A.J. Green who admittedly sold one of his jerseys for some cash:
“They had every bank statement going back to February ‘09,” Green said. “They looked and saw that [$1,000 deposit] and they were, like, ‘Hey, where did you get the money from?’ I told them. I’m not going to lie to them . . . and jeopardize my whole season.”
Green, eligible to play for the first time this season Saturday at Colorado, spoke to reporters in a UGA conference room Tuesday afternoon — his first interview since being suspended by the NCAA.
The star receiver did not deny knowing that selling the jersey was against NCAA rules, saying he “didn’t really think it through” and “everybody makes mistakes in life.”
Green cooperates completely – after the NCAA approach him to address a rumor – and misses four games. Four games.
Here’s an excerpt from one report related to Manziel:
The Freistat signings, combined with four sessions previously reported by “Outside the Lines,” would makes six signings for three brokers in three states in less than a month for Manziel. Sources said he signed his name more than 4,400 times.
There was a time when Manziel’s school, his conference and the NCAA would have ruled him ineligible. It would have been his burden to prove his innocence. But that was in a different time, when money was a factor, but not THE factor.
Suspending Manziel for one half of football is a joke. The same kind of joke as ruling Cam Newton ineligible and immediately reinstating him. The only people who think these rulings are fair are fans of the schools involved.
Manziel and his school lawyered up and forced the hand of the NCAA. And no one was able to see past the dollars.