There’s a lot going on in the sports world today. I figured you all are getting enough A-Rod coverage on every other media outlet in the entire world. There is also the news of Riley Cooper coming back to camp, which i think is getting old as well. He was drunk at a concert and dropped an N bomb…big deal. Dante Stallworth murdered somebody driving drunk, Vick killed who knows how many dogs, Pacman Jones recently tagged a woman in the face (among several other things), and all are thriving in the league right now. That Cooper video is a locker room problem…not something ESPN should be talking about 24/7.
But instead I chose to write about a guy i’ve defended all along, Johnny Manziel. There are 2 reasons why i chose to write about Johnny Football. The first reason is maybe I’ve been wrong about this guy all along. For the past 8 months i’ve had Manziel pegged as a good kid who’s an unbelievable talent and gets a bad rep because he likes to party. But an East Coast autograph broker has come out and told ESPN that Manziel has been paid $7,500 cash for this autograph signing. There are videos of this autograph signing that have not been released, but have been viewed by ESPN’s Joe Schad. The broker told ESPN that Manziel said he was doing this autograph signing because he wanted new rims for his car.
Before i delve deep into this topic, I want to make sure everyone knows that none of this has been proven yet, so when i go off here, i’m speaking as if this is true. I still love Johnny Football and will not change my opinion on him until this is officially true and he is suspended by the NCAA.
SO…If indeed true, this is unreal. First of all, we are all aware that Manziel comes from a wealthy family who has old Texas oil money. It’s not like he comes from poverty and needs to do this signing in order to stay afloat. In addition, this guy is a year out (assuming he declares) from being a first round NFL draft pick. Johnny buddy, just stay out of trouble for 1 year and forget the rims, you’ll be able to buy a full new car, and whatever else you want for that matter. I just don’t understand why he would jeopardize his whole season, and entire college football legacy for $7,500. Once again IF he does get suspended, I think it will go down as one of the dumbest mistakes in college football history, especially coming off of an unbelievable Heisman campaign. Another aspect is what it does to his team. This move is a blatant example of a guy putting himself before his team. He not only risked his season when he took that money, but he put his team in an awful position. Now they have to deal with the media circus surrounding him, and also if he does get suspended, he puts them in a deep deep hole. Alabama is early on the schedule folks, and they want revenge. If Manziel isn’t on the field, that game could get ugly. With Manziel A&M is a national title contender.
But there’s a whole different aspect to this dilemma that needs to be addressed. It’s the thought that Texas A&M can sit there and ride the title wave that is Johnny Football, all the way to a new addition to the stadium, among other things. Why should Texas A&M be able to reap all the benefits, but the athlete himself can’t make a dime? It’s one of the stupidest rules in the world. The Ohio State book store can sell and profit off of #2 jerseys because it doesn’t technically have Pryor’s name on it, but as soon as Pryor tries make a couple hundred bucks, he’s hammered by the NCAA. Nike, Adidas and Under Armour can sell replica jerseys of current NCAA players, but because there is no name on the back, they can collect all the coin. When i bought a Michigan #16 jersey, i wasn’t buying a random Michigan #16 jersey, i was buying a Denard Robinson jersey. But it doesn’t have his name on the back, so Adidas gets all of that money. These companies are blatantly profiting off of these college athletes because of this ridiculous rule. One classic argument is, “Well athletes get to go to school for free.” Hmmmm really? So A&M enjoyed millions of dollars in revenue last season and going into this season, but the school is paying for Manziel’s $21,000 a year in-state tuition so it’s all even? Johnny Football gets the same amount of compensation as the last QB on the roster, that’s fair? It’s like factory owner’s making money off of the products that their employee’s make, but not paying their employees a cent. Frankly, it’s unconstitutional. I’m not saying that the NCAA should necessarily pay athletes, i’m just saying that the fact that schools, the NCAA, sportswear companies, and everyone can profit off of a young college kid’s name, but the kid can’t make a dime off of the hard work he’s put in… is an absolute crime.
Rules are rules however. No matter how dumb and absurd this rule is, it is still a rule, and Manziel apparently broke it. I am not saying that he didn’t do anything wrong here.
If everything holds true, Johnny Football will be suspended for accepting $7,500 worth of compensation for autographs. Texas A&M has made millions of dollars off of Manziel, and I guarantee there are hundreds of people out there who have made more than $7,500 off of manziel in 1 way or another. But nope, Johnny Football will lose at least part, and possibly all of his sophomore season because he’s not allowed to make money off of his own hard work and performance on the football field. Makes me sick.
Down with the NCAA.
– Steve Butabi