Johnny Manziel, otherwise known as “Johnny Football,” felt invincible after becoming the first freshman ever to win the Heisman Trophy. However, from that point on everything seems to have gone downhill for “Johnny Football” as he is now under constant scrutiny from the press.
Here is the series of events:
- He sent angry tweets from courtside seats at a Mavs/Heat game, which he directed towards his online critics.
- Photos of him partying and gambling surfaced on Instagram.
- He sent more angry tweets expressing the desire to leave his college town.
- He was too hungover to attend the QB challenge at Manning’s Passing Academy.
- Most recently, Manziel has been under fire for receiving payments for his autographs.
So, what’s wrong with the best quarterback in college football making money for jotting his signature down on a piece of paper? Well, it’s against the long established and seldomly modified NCAA rules.
The NCAA rules state that players cannot receive monetary compensation for anything while they participate in an NCAA sport. However, players are making billions of dollars for the NCAA and their respective colleges. Specifically, Texas A&M made $37 million off of Manziel last year.
Is it time for the rules to change?
Fans expressing their opinions on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook overwhelming believe that it is time for the NCAA to change the rules and compensate players fairly. In fact, a FOX Sports Contributor polled his Twitter followers and 95% of them said that Manziel should not be penalized for the financial compensation he received for his autographs.
Furthermore, this is not the only case to surface recently that has exposed NCAA players for receiving forms of compensation that violate the NCAA rules. Back in 2010 the NCAA brought sanctions against USC for bribing Reggie Bush and his family with gifts so that he would play there. Later that year, 5 players on the Ohio State football team had sanctions brought against them for receiving free tattoos and selling their jerseys and championship rings.
Overall, it is clear that fans are more focused on what they believe to be the absurdity of the NCAA rules rather than the players’ actions themselves. Nearly 100% of fans do not believe Manziel should be deemed ineligible because he made money from selling his autographs. Perhaps this will be the case to motivate the NCAA to change their rules and finally adapt to the times.