Johnny Manziel has been suspended for one half of one football game, despite the NCAA claiming it found no evidence that he was paid to sign autographs.
Apparently, though, Manziel isn’t the only big-time player involved in this scandal-that-isn’t-a-scandal-according-to-the-NCAA.
Though the NCAA arrived at the light suspension because they could not find evidence that the quarterback was paid, the real reason they may have let Manziel off easily is because they did not want the autograph controversy to lead to a much larger scandal.
John P. Lopez of Sports Radio 610 in Houston reports that while investigating the Manziel matter, the NCAA learned that the quarterback was one of many star collegiate athletes with ties to the autograph brokers. Lopez says this “client list” included top players from many of the top conferences since 2004, though the nature of the players’ relationship with the brokers is unclear.
The rationale behind Lopez’s report is that had the NCAA suspended Manziel based on his ties to the brokers, they would have to do the same for all other players on the “client list.” The NCAA has the ability to retroactively rule players ineligible, which could have led to a historical mess of the organization vacating games and accomplishments.
As fans, we don’t care. We are happy we get to see Johnny Football play Alabama (barring any changes in the next few weeks), and we are happy that no real penalty is being given for players possibly profiting off of their stardom.
Still, the NCAA, as it does with literally everything it does, is looking stupid.