But at least there was closure.

John Pennington reminds us once more that it rarely pays to put all your cards on the table with Mark Emmert’s NCAA:

Then there was the autograph caper of Johnny Manziel.  As summer wound down, a number of sources claimed that the Texas A&M quarterback had received thousands of dollars in exchange for his autograph on merchandise that could be re-sold for greater profit.  Anyone with a brain knows that Johnny Football wouldn’t volunteer hours of his time to make someone else a boatload of money… all out of the goodness of his heart.  Who of us would?

But the NCAA wanted no part in opening up what could have become a skyscraper-sized can of worms.  Just as Manziel surely received payment for his time and/or autographs, other college athletes have no doubt done the same (they simply weren’t fingered by autograph brokers after the fact).  Knowing this, the NCAA handed Manziel a suspension lasting for all of one half of one game for not — get this — not trying to stop someone from profiting from his image.  Uh, right.

The one-time Heisman-winner sat out the first two quarters of the Aggies’ season opener and the story faded from the front page.  More importantly, the NCAA had set a precedent.  Not having the time or manpower to investigate every claim of a kid signing autographs for cash, Emmert’s group can now simply drop a one-half suspension on any player it believes accepted money for his John Hancock.

Interestingly, it was just three years ago that the same NCAA suspended Georgia receiver AJ Green for four whole games because he had sold a game-worn jersey for 1000 bucks.  Like Pearl and Tressel, Green must feel that he simply got popped at the wrong time.  Had he broken a rule in the current environment, he might’ve been benched for one half or one game rather than for a full 16 quarters, a third of his final season in Athens.

Don’t forget – nobody anonymously dropped a dime on AJ.  He volunteered the information that hung him, presumably upon the advice of somebody in Georgia’s compliance department.  Here’s hoping that nameless soul has either been re-educated or is making a living somewhere other than in Athens.

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14 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, The NCAA

14 responses to “But at least there was closure.

  1. We are upstanding folks at GEORGIA. Proud of AJ. We set an example for all CF.

    • simpl_matter

      Whatever. There’s no morality in a crooked game. This ain’t church, it’s the pen. Snitches get stiches :/

      • Seems to me that AJ and UGA were the ones to get stitches. I’m still dumbfounded over the way that was handled. All that over a story printed about AJ partying in Miami and actually never was. But $1000 for a jersey netted him 4 games suspension. Amazing!
        “Someone’s got it in for me, they’re planting stories in the press
        Whoever it is I wish they’d cut it out but when they will I can only guess…”

        *”Green was caught up in a wide-ranging NCAA probe of the relationship between agents and players from several SEC and Atlantic Coast Conference schools.

        Alabama defensive end Marcell Dareus was declared ineligible for** two games for accepting nearly $2,000 in improper benefits during two trips to Miami**.

        South Carolina is awaiting its own NCAA ruling on the eligibility of two players: starting offensive tackle Jarriel King and first-team cornerback Chris Culliver, who sat out the Gamecocks’ opening game.”*

        • simpl_matter

          Exactly. Loose lips sink ships. As the Senator concludes, whoever gave AJ that advice should have been fired or re-educated. We probably win at least one of those first three loses in 2010 with AJ playing, and he would have been tuned-up for Colorado. I can still picture Caleb King fumbling the damn ball on that last drive. That season suuuucked.

  2. You do not know that AJ fessed up upon the advice of the compliance department. Maybe he did it because his Mama said so.

  3. Debby Balcer

    GA was definitely hurt by that I think they would have gone after UGA if Manziel played for us. They only turn their head when it helps them.

    • Joe Schmoe

      I agree with this sentiment. This to me is another example of how bad leadership from the AD and school hurts the program. Instead of vigorously defending the program and our players, we act all sanctimonious and assume we will get a fair shake from the system if we spill all and follow the process. Instead, the NCAA uses us as a punching bag (just like the SEC refs) to prove that they are tough on crime because we are stupid enough to hang ourselves.

  4. 69Dawg

    The NCAA will gladly kick the chair out if the college furnishes the rope and chair. I don’t know why we don’t lawyer up and let the NCAA suck it.

  5. Comin' Down The Track

    Sooo… it’s time to start cheating like everybody does else then?