Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel is so popular in College Station that he has been practically forced to take his entire course load this semester online, according to Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz of USA TODAY Sports.
Apparently, Manziel draws so much attention and so many requests for photos on campus that he only shows up about once each month.
While college athletes are well within their rights to take their courses via online format, the landscape of college athletics will soon change drastically if the NCAA does not step in and regulate this extensively.
Superstar college athletes have been around for a long time and they have all seemed to deal with being in a classroom just fine.
Even as recently as Tim Tebow or Cam Newton, the stars went to class, lived on campus and survived.
Texas A&M has not had a star of this caliber in a long time, but there is still no reason why Johnny Manziel cannot attend classes on campus.
Online courses, for the most part, are designed for individuals who don’t have the opportunity to be on campus due to proximity to the campus or simply a work schedule that does not allow them to be on campus at certain times.
While online courses can be very practical and conducive to the schedule of college athletes due to the flexibility and the “work at your own pace” arrangement, the NCAA better set strict guidelines before coaches and athletes realize the opportunities that these classes present them.
They will soon become the rage of athletes everywhere, now that a high-profile athlete like Manziel has made public that he rarely steps foot on campus, and you will soon see other marquis players jump to the convenience of off-campus classes.
These courses put a lot of trust in students. The professor trusts that the student is disciplined enough to keep up with the course work without supervision and that they are honest enough to complete the course on their own.
Is the NCAA ready to put this amount of trust in athletes and coaches that have so much at stake?
If student-athletes are allowed to take courses online, the NCAA will soon have a situation on their hands where players are having others take their classes for them.
It is almost impossible to regulate the legitimacy of online courses, but if the NCAA does not find a way soon, the landscape of college athletics will be changed forever and corruption will run rampant.