Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel is the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, the favorite to win it again this upcoming college football season and the potential No. 1 overall pick whenever he decides to make the jump to the NFL. Still, he has found himself mixed in a bit of controversy after leaving the Manning Camp early.
UPDATE: Wednesday, July 17, at 12:37 p.m. ET by Tom Kinslow
Campbell Abbott of the New York Daily News has an update about Manziel's departure from the Manning Passing Academy.
According to a source, Manziel was a problem for Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning from the moment he arrived at the Louisiana passing camp until the second his parents called in sick for him.
The source told the Daily News that Manziel’s troubles started way before he went out partying into the early hours on Friday morning.
---End of update---
UPDATE: Wednesday, July 17, at 9:18 a.m. ET by Brandon Galvin
Johnny Manziel spoke about the Manning Camp situation at today. ESPN's Brett McMurphy documented the interview:
CBS Sports' Will Brinson has more:
ESPN's Joe Schad followed with the latest:
CBS Sports' Bruce Feldman documents how Manziel plans to move forward from this situation:
McMurphy followed with the latest from Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin
CBS Sports' Dennis Dodd has more from Manziel and how the young quarterback is trying to cope with the pressure of his new stardom:
---End of update---
UPDATE: Monday, July 15, at 5:25 p.m. ET by Tom Kinslow
Joe Schad of ESPN has an update on Johnny Manziel and the reports surrounding his departure from the Manning Passing Academy.
---End of update---
Manziel couldn't make it through the 2013 Manning Passing Academy in Thibodaux, La., as he was reportedly sent home due to illness, according to Chris Mortensen of ESPN.com.
Many of the best quarterbacks that college football has to offer were in Thibodaux for the camp, run by Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning and their father, Archie Manning. Manziel, however, didn't complete the camp.
Manziel reportedly missed some assigned meetings and practice sessions as a college coach and counselor. According to Mortensen, the Manning Academy released a statement explaining the situation:
Johnny Manziel did participate in some activities in the 2013 Manning Passing Academy as a college counselor/coach. After missing and being late for practice assignments, Johnny explained that he had been feeling ill. Consequently, we agreed that it was in everyone's best interest for him to go home a day early.
This statement comes on the heels of rumors that Manziel was actually sent home for staying out late the night before and showing up tardy to practice sessions.
Rumors and Rants originally reported Manziel's rumored debauchery, as a source with supposed knowledge of the situation told the site that Archie Manning was the one who sent Manziel home. The Aggies star was supposed to participate in the "Air It Out" skills challenge, but he didn't show up until noon and was reportedly asked to leave.
According to Northwestern State Demons play-by-play announcer and CBS Sports personality Patrick Netherton, the rumors appear to have some credibility, although Manning Academy officials have since denied them.
Manziel's father, Paul, has also denied the reports, per Kate Hairopoulos of the Dallas Morning-News.
Hairopoulos also confirmed that the Heisman winner is still slated to appear at SEC media days on Wednesday.
Joe Kinsey of Busted Coverage provided photos of Manziel and Alabama signal-caller AJ McCarron hanging out at a Thibodaux bar known as Bubba's. Peyton and Eli were also there, so it may have been a team-building outing of sorts, but what happened that night has led to plenty of speculation regarding Manziel's status.
Despite the turn of events, Peyton Manning had nothing but good things to say about Manziel, according to Mortensen:
I enjoyed meeting Johnny. I can remember a 20-year-old Eli [Manning] missing a meeting and catching some flak. We always have counselors who leave early. Johnny was great with the campers for the time he was here. He had to leave early. I wish him the best, and I want him to come back as a counselor next year.
This offseason hasn't exactly been a great one for Manziel, especially when you consider the fact that he was the toast of college football last season. As noted by David Climer of USA Today (via the Dallas Morning-News), Manziel has made plenty of headlines in recent months, the most notable of which was a tweet back in June saying that he can't wait to leave College Station.
While Manziel deleted the tweet, it certainly hasn't been forgotten by fans of the Aggies, nor by a growing legion of the quarterback's detractors. There is no question that Manziel is one of the most talented college football players in recent memory, but his reputation has taken serious hits as negative stories have surfaced.
At the same time, things tend to get blown out of proportion when it comes to players with the star power of Johnny Football. Assuming the Manning Academy officials are being forthcoming, this entire situation was nothing more than a big misunderstanding.
Regardless of what's true and what's hearsay, it's clear that Manziel can stand to mature a bit. Even without the Manning Passing Academy situation hanging over his head, he has made some questionable decisions this offseason.
If he is going to be a successful NFL player in the near future, Manziel needs to learn how to appropriately conduct himself off the field.
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