Texas A&M’s half-game suspension of Johnny Manziel is one of the most ridiculous punishments meted out in NCAA history — and that’s a high bar. After an exhaustive investigation lasting several weeks into allegations that Manziel received payment for autograph sessions, the school decided to make Manziel sit out the first half of Saturday’s game against Rice.
What a crushing loss for a team favored by 27 points.
ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” first reported that Manziel took money for putting his “John Football” on items later sold by dealers on eBay. Less than a month later, the Aggies came up with their bizarre punishment, and the NCAA quickly rubber-stamped it after grilling Manziel on Sunday. He apparently didn’t confess.
Which is more egregious, the lightness of the punishment or the swiftness of the punishment? Yes.
Meantime, the University of Miami is still awaiting word on its punishment for the actions of naughty booster Nevin Shapiro. Remember him? No? Well, he’s so last year. Actually, he’s so 2011; that’s when the accusations were first made. Of course, the NCAA investigation ground to a halt when it had to investigate itself for wrongdoing by its investigators in investigating Miami. (You can’t make this stuff up!) The school made its final case before the NCAA two months ago — and still hasn’t learned its fate. The Hurricanes will play their first game of the season Friday against Florida Atlantic.