Lorton: NCAA continues erratic treatment (Aug. 30)
| Friday, August 30, 2013
Hypocrisy, thy name is NCAA.
As you probably already heard, Johnny “Football” Manziel was suspended for one half … of a game. Yes, you heard it right, half of a game … against Rice. Not a full game, and definitely not for the Aggies third game against the defending national champs, Alabama.
So I am jumping on the media-frenzied train that is “Johnny Football” at College Station and seeing where it takes me.
Remember last year when the undersized freshman went into Tuscaloosa and thrillingly, unexpectedly beat up on the amazing Alabama defense?
The sports world took off, and in that game, Manziel won himself a Heisman and the media created a mythological aura about the 20-year-old quarterback.
But in our era of controversies, no one can ever reach the top unscathed, and Manziel was punished for his transgressions.
The suspension, a joint decision from the NCAA and Texas A&M, was explained thusly: “Manziel violated NCAA bylaw 126.96.36.199. The rule says student-athletes cannot permit their names or likenesses to be used for commercial purposes, including to advertise, recommend or promote sales of commercial products, or accept payment for the use of their names or likenesses.”
But the NCAA said in a release, “NCAA rules are clear that student-athletes may not accept money for items they sign, and based on the information provided by Manziel, that did not happen in this case.”
So if money was not exchanged, it must have been the “likenesses” part which got Manziel the half-game suspension. Manziel should have known that everything he autographs will be sold.
Personally, I am just happy that the NCAA was consistent in its punishment of Manziel based on previous rulings of matters such as these.
Dez Bryant and Terrelle Pryor came out on social media with great enthusiasm and agreement for the ruling.
Bryant, who did not report a lunch he had with NFL star defensive back Deion Sanders, was suspended 10 games by the NCAA in 2009. The lunch did not even violate any NCAA regulations.
In 2011, Pryor and four Ohio State teammates traded autographs and memorabilia for tattoos and were subsequently suspended five games by the NCAA.
In both cases there was no exchange of money, correct?
Then why did Manziel only get half of a game, while Bryant and Pryor received longer suspensions?
In Bryant’s and Pryor’s cases there was what the NCAA called “evidence,” but in Manziel’s case there was no paper trail. What the NCAA is really telling student-athletes here is, use cash. Also, Bryant and Pryor were not coming off of Heisman seasons and making the NCAA millions of dollars off of the name “Johnny Football.”
And, if you are going to suspend a guy for only one half of one game, why even suspend him at all?
Well, the NCAA had to punish Manziel for something after making such a big deal out of this whole situation. They couldn’t just let him get away with signing 4,000-plus items to expected brokers and get away with it.
In less than a month – while Miami is still waiting on an NCAA violations investigation and ruling that’s three years in the making – the NCAA was able to conduct what it considered a reasonable, in-depth and thorough investigation of this massive matter, which has taken up the majority of media this past month, to find that Manziel has done almost nothing wrong and suspended him for it.
In all of this, we have found out that the NCAA is the most inconsistent, unreliable and hypocritical organization in sports. If it’s not money or controversy, it’s not the NCAA.
Contact Isaac Lorton at
The views expressed in this Sports Authority are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.