College Station, TX (Sports Network) - Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel
has been suspended for the first half of Saturday's season opener.
After officials met with Manziel for nearly six hours Sunday, the NCAA and
Texas A&M came to an agreement Wednesday to bench the Heisman Trophy winner
for the first half against Rice.
Manziel will address the team regarding the situation and lessons learned as
part of his punishment, while the university will revise its future education
concerning student-athlete autographs for individuals with multiple items.
"I am proud of the way both coach (Kevin) Sumlin and Johnny handled this
situation, with integrity and honesty," Texas A&M system chancellor John Sharp
said in a statement released Wednesday. "We all take the Aggie Code of Honor
very seriously and there is no evidence that either the university or Johnny
violated that code."
The decision to suspend Manziel closes the book on the signal-caller's recent
issues, stemming from an investigation by the NCAA about whether Manziel
received compensation for signing autographs at different locations, including
South Florida while attending last January's BCS National Championship Game.
Based on the information submitted by Texas A&M and Manziel, the NCAA ruled
that Manziel did not accept money for the autograph signings, which would have
been a violation of NCAA rules.
"Texas A&M University would like to thank the NCAA staff, not only for its
fairness and professionalism throughout this process, but also for the
expediency of its actions," Texas A&M athletic director Eric Hyman said.
"Texas A&M is a proud member of the NCAA and the Southeastern Conference and,
as such, we will continue to abide by the rules governing the association and
the conference. Texas A&M is committed to competing with integrity and
sportsmanship, and we will continue to ensure strict compliance guidelines for
our student-athletes, coaches and supporters."
Manziel's tumultuous offseason, which included a guilty plea to a misdemeanor
charge stemming from a 2012 arrest, put a damper on a record-setting first
season for the Texas A&M quarterback, who became the first freshman to win the
Heisman Trophy last year when he accounted for 47 touchdowns, while helping
the Aggies to an 11-2 record.
In Manziel's absence, the seventh-ranked Aggies will turn to either junior
Matt Joeckel or freshman Kenny Hill.
The Sports Network