Reports: Manziel Suspended For Half Against Rice
By Christopher Wuensch
The news that's kept Aggies fans holding their collective breath has come down and it looks as if Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel will be under center when the team kicks off its season — sort of.
Multiple news outlets are reporting the NCAA will suspend Manziel for the first half against Rice on Saturday, including ESPN’s Brett McMurphy and CBS Sports’ Tom Fornelli.
Billy Liucci of TexAgs.com first reported the suspension. The NCAA spoke to Manziel earlier this week about allegations he signed autographs for multiple memorabilia brokers in exchange for money, but it appears the governing body has cleared him of those charges.
"... all indications are that Manziel was not found guilty of accepting payment for signature," Liucci tweeted.
According to the report, the suspension effectively “closes the book” on the Manziel investigation. Manziel was accused of selling his autograph in Miami during the week leading up to this year’s BCS Championship game. An autograph dealer allegedly told ESPN that Manziel also accepted money for signing more than 4,000 items at a Connecticut event in January.
Neither the NCAA, Texas A&M nor Manziel responded to the suspension as of late Wednesday afternoon, but the Twitter universe exploded, questioning the weight of what amounts to a 30-minute penalty.
Junior Matt Joeckel or freshman Kenny Hill will fill in with Manziel on the sideline.
Manziel became the first freshman to win the Heisman award, but off-the-field issues have dogged the Tyler, Texas, native ever since the Aggies’ 41-13 victory over Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl. The quarterback threw for 3,706 yards and 26 touchdowns in 2012, leading the Aggies to their first double-digit win season (11-2) since 1998.