The Johnny Manziel suspension has been announced by the NCAA.
The Texas A&M quarterback will be suspended for the first half of Saturday’s season opener against Rice University.
Investigators for the NCAA questioned Johnny Manziel for six hours on Sunday. The Heisman Trophy winner is facing allegations that he took money from memorabilia dealers in exchange for his autograph.
In a joint statement, the school and the NCAA indicated that there was no proof that Johnny Football received cash from those dealers for his Johnny Hancock. The statement read in part:
“Texas A&M University and the NCAA confirmed today 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.”
The NCAA also left open the possibility, however, of further action based on any additional information that may surface in the Manziel matter.
Johnny Manziel’s lawyer nonetheless claimed that the forcing Manziel to sit out the first half wasn’t justified under the circumstances. “We don’t really believe [it]) was warranted, but we believe NCAA and Texas A&M worked with us to get this matter resolved. Johnny was willing to accept it to get back on the football field and compete,” Jim Darnell told ESPN.
While Johnny Manziel serves his half-game suspension, the Aggies are expected to turn to backup QBs Matt Joeckel (a junior) or freshman Kenny Hill. Head coach Kevin Sumlin expressed confidence “that Texas A&M’s offense will be OK no matter who’s running the show because of its offensive line.”