Texas A&M declares Manziel ineligible, determines he must sit half a game
Texas A&M University and the NCAA on Wednesday ruled that there is no evidence that quarterback Johnny Manziel received money in exchange for autographs, based on currently available information and statements by Manziel. Due to an inadvertent violation regarding the signing of certain autographs, Texas A&M declared Manziel ineligible and submitted the following conditions for reinstatement to the NCAA:
• A one-half game suspension for Manziel;
• Manziel will address the team regarding the situation and lessons learned;
• Texas A&M will revise its future education concerning student-athlete autographs for individuals with multiple items.
“Student-athletes are often asked for autographs from fans, but unfortunately, some individuals’ sole motivation in seeking an autograph is for resale," NCAA Vice President of Academic and Membership Affairs Kevin Lennon said. "It is important that schools are cognizant and educate student-athletes about situations in which there is a strong likelihood that the autograph seeker plans to resell the items.”
Based on the information submitted by the university, the NCAA accepted the conditions as put forward by Texas A&M. If additional information comes to light, the NCAA will review and consider if further action is appropriate.
“I am proud of the way both Coach [Kevin] Sumlin and Johnny handled this situation, with integrity and honesty,"Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp said. “We all take the Aggie Code of Honor very seriously and there is no evidence that either the university or Johnny violated that code.”
NCAA rules are clear that student-athletes may not accept money for items they sign and based on information provided by Manziel, that did not happen in this case.
“Texas A&M University would like to thank the NCAA staff, not only for its fairness and professionalism throughout this process, but also for the expediency of its actions," Texas A&M Director of Athletics Eric Hyman said. "Texas A&M is a proud member of the NCAA and the Southeastern Conference and, as such, we will continue to abide by the rules governing the association and the conference. Texas A&M is committed to competing with integrity and sportsmanship, and we will continue to ensure strict compliance guidelines for our student-athletes, coaches and supporters.”
Texas A&M and the NCAA will have no further comment on this matter.