There are many strong opinions about Johnny Manziel these days, but no one may be able to relate more to the controversial Texas A&M quarterback than Dez Bryant.
The Dallas Cowboys wide receiver was in a similar spot as Manziel when he was at Oklahoma State. Coming off a strong sophomore season for the Cowboys, many considered Bryant to be a Heisman Trophy candidate heading into his junior year. But four games in, the star receiver was ruled ineligible after failing to disclose an “interaction” he had with Deion Sanders, which turned out to be a legal dinner.
Now, Manziel is under fire for reportedly receiving money in exchange for signing autographs, jeopardizing his college football career. And, unsurprisingly, Bryant has some strong opinions on the matter. On Tuesday, he told reporters he would be “mad” if Manziel isn’t suspended, according to the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram.
“Hell yeah, I’ll be mad,” Bryant said. “I will be mad. But I don’t want him to get suspended. I will be mad more at the NCAA on how they do things. I just feel like it’s not fair. This is something I have no problem talking about because I feel like somebody needs to say something to him and let it be known how they treat people is not right.”
Bryant didn’t hold back on talking about his own situation either, saying he lied to the NCAA about his “interaction” with Sanders while at OSU.
“I did lie. I came back. I told the truth and they suspended me indefinitely,” Bryant said. “The way the guy was talking to me was like I did something wrong. I didn’t know it was OK for me to go to someone’s house.
“So I got scared and I lied,” he continued. “I feel like if anybody else was in my position they probably would have done the same.”
He also says that college athletes should be paid for their services.
“I feel like they should,” Bryant said. “I feel like players in the NCAA should. Those fans are coming out to watch them and support them. When they’re in college, it’s different. You don’t get paid like the NFL get paid. I think what would be OK would be to have just a little bit of money in your pocket. It’s hard in college. You’ve got to get a job [in the offseason] if you can. You’ve got to practice. It’s just hard. Sometimes the training table is just not good enough.”