Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel suspended for first half of game vs. Rice
The NCAA's investigation of Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel is over. As first reported by Billy Liucci of TexAgs.com, Manziel has been suspended for the first half of Saturday's opener against Rice.
Manziel, who was being investigated for allegedly accepting payments in exchange for autographs, met with the NCAA for nearly six hours on Sunday. Aggies head coach Kevin Sumlin and players did not comment on Manziel's status this week with regard to Saturday's game.
The NCAA released a statement on Wednesday evening describing the details of Manziel's consequences, which resulted from an "inadvertent violation regarding the signing of certain autographs," but the NCAA found no evidence that Manziel accepted money. Alongside the player's suspension, he must address his teammates regarding the situation, and Texas A&M must revise its education concerning student-athlete autographs.
The NCAA prohibits student-athletes from accepting money for items they sign, but NCAA Bylaw 126.96.36.199 likewise requires student-athletes to take steps to prevent the sale of any items using their name or likeness.
Texas A&M System Chancellor John Sharp praised Manziel in a statement released through the NCAA.
“I am proud of the way both Coach Sumlin and Johnny handled this situation, with integrity and honesty. We all take the Aggie Code of Honor very seriously and there is no evidence that either the university or Johnny violated that code.”
A&M senior associate athletic director Jason Cook told USA Today's George Schroeder that the specific violation had never been applied before.