Johnny Manziel tweets '#FreeGurley' in support of Georgia RB Todd Gurley
Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel is no stranger to NCAA controversy. The ex-Texas A&M quarterback took to Twitter Friday to express his support for Georgia running back Todd Gurley, who was suspended Thursday for reportedly accepting money in exchange for autographs. Manziel was suspended for one half of a game due to a similar infraction last season.
Manziel also said that Gurley "built a brand and should be able to capitalize on it.''
SI.com's Andy Staples explained the similarities and differences between Gurley's and Manziel cases:
It is unclear how much time Gurley might miss due to the investigation. Last year Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel was embroiled in a similar investigation after autograph brokers claimed to ESPN that Manziel was signing items for cash. None of the brokers would speak to the NCAA, and eventually Manziel -- who employed an attorney with experience dealing with the NCAA -- was suspended for the first half of the Aggies’ season-opening 52-31 win over Rice for what was deemed an inadvertent violation of NCAA Bylaw 18.104.22.168, which forbids athletes from permitting the use of their name for a commercial product. It was never proven that Manziel took money for autographs while playing for Texas A&M.
- Dan Gartland