Deny, deny, deny. That’s the strategy Johnny Football is taking this college football season.
Johnny Manziel has been under a lot of scrutiny recently for allegations that he accepted money in exchange for signing autographs during the offseason. Manziel met with the NCAA to discuss the allegations for 5 1/2 hours on Sunday, and he denied ever accepting any money, according to CBS Sports’ Bruce Feldman.
Most of the meeting between Manziel and the NCAA focused on the Texas A&M quarterback’s financial records, according to the report. During the conversation, Manziel remained adamant with NCAA officials that he did not take any money from memorabilia brokers for autographs.
As the investigation rolls on, so too does the uncertainty surrounding Manziel’s status for the Aggies’ season opener this weekend. The reigning Heisman Trophy winner has been practicing with the first-team offense all summer and continues to be the primary quarterback taking reps in practice. But head coach Kevin Sumlin has yet to reveal whether Manziel will start in the opener against Rice over the weekend.
Texas A&M coaches and players have been told to stay mum about Manziel this week, and it may not be known for sure if he’s going to play until kickoff on Saturday afternoon. While playing Manziel seem like the obvious choice to the average football fan, this situation is more complicated for the Aggies’ season. If Manziel does play and is later found to have committed a violation, he may be ruled ineligible by the NCAA, and the Aggies could face potential punishment, including having to vacate wins. Then again, by not playing Manziel, A&M would run the risk of missing out on its national title hopes.
This Manziel mess is becoming quite the conundrum in College Station.