The story of Johnny Manziel and his legend continues to grow, from his on-the-field accomplishments to his off-the-field shenanigans. Manziel has reportedly been implicated by brokers to the tune of six autograph signings. Whether or not you’re a true diehard Aggies fan or not, this has to raise plenty of suspicion and doubt among all of us with college football.
The toughest spot to be in right now is not the NCAA or even the Manziel family. It’s actually Kevin Sumlin and Texas A&M. There may not be a paper trail or evidence implicating the quarterback with the NCAA, which could deem him eligible under their policies. However if Sumlin decides to play him and IRS records later prove he received money for autographs, the NCAA could punish A&M retroactively just like they did Southern California.
So what do you do if you’re Kevin Sumlin?
I think Sumlin has to sit Manziel until he is sure through his lawyers and Manziel’s that there was not money given for any of these alleged autograph signings. He also must make sure that future payment or IRS filings won’t be uncovered by the NCAA which could allow them to penalize his future teams.
Honestly, I don’t see how Sumlin can win in this situation.
I think he has to make a gut decision on whether or not Manziel was wrong and if so he can live with the fact that if he plays him, a future team could suffer consequences. To me the biggest difference in this situation and the Cam Newton situation is the fact that he will have to report income to the IRS or face tax evasion.
Spurrier sends message
The other great player in news this week was South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney after he was “called out” by my former coach Steve Spurrier. I love the tactic by the Ball Coach as he mentioned that the shoulder injury that kept Clowney from practice might keep him out of the first game.
Spurrier has never liked guys who couldn’t’ tell the difference between pain and injury and his message was definitely heard. Clowney attended practice Tuesday and the rest as they say is history.
This and That
- With so much attention on the opening weekend, I thought I would look at Week 2 of the Southeastern Conference schedule to see what’s on the menu. South Carolina at Georgia and Florida at Miami are really strong games. The Gamecocks and Dogs are both top 10 squads and the Gators travel to South Florida to play the Canes for the first time since 2003. Other than that you will be pressed to find a quality game. Samford, Arkansas State, UAB, Alcorn St., Southeast Missouri, Western Kentucky, Sam Houston and Austin Peay will all venture into conference stadiums.
- The concussion to Josh Williford in a recent LSU practice is a very scary thought for two reasons. First, he was lost for the season last year when he suffered a concussion in October against Florida. Second, he is one of the most, if not the most, experienced lineman with 19 starts and has played in 31 games. Williford can play either guard spot and would be sorely missed up front this season. We all hope he is OK and makes the right choice physically.
Nick Saban also sent a message this week to Trey DePriest, suspending him for a violation of team rules. DePriest, who is expected to start at inside linebacker, will be ready for the first game, but make no mistake, Saban wants his guys focused on the season coming up. Amari Cooper suffered a foot sprain and will miss a few days allowing some backup guys to get more reps with the first team.