Johnny Manziel Circus Hits a New Low with Manning Camp 'Sickness'
Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports
This time, Johnny Manziel may have gone too far.
An offseason full of parties, courtside seats at NBA games and trips all across the country continued over the weekend, when Manziel was invited to be a coach and mentor at the Manning Passing Academy in Thibodaux, La.
That trip was cut short, and Manziel was sent home due to "illness," according to the Academy (via: ESPN.com). Manziel's father, Paul, later told Kate Hairopoulos of the Dallas Morning News that his son was suffering from dehydration and is resting at home.
However, Rumors and Rants reported that Manziel was out partying on Friday night and was sent home by Archie Manning after showing up late to a meeting on Saturday morning. Patrick Netherton of the Tim Brando Show on Sirius/XM College Sports Nation and CBS Sports Network further confirmed the report on Twitter on Sunday (h/t: Deadspin.com).
Camp officials told ESPN that reports of Manziel being sent home due to partying were inaccurate.
But just how inaccurate were they?
The good folks at Busted Coverage posted a photo of Manziel and Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron out at Bubba's in Thibodaux on Thursday night, where several counselors, including Peyton and Eli Manning were also present. Deadspin grabbed several tweets of locals in College Station that suggest that the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner was back at it again at the Hookah Station bar in the Northgate district of College Station Saturday.
Of all of Manziel's offseason drama—most of which has been silly, inconsequential and remarkably overblown—being allegedly asked to leave camp for not living up to his responsibilities as a coach and a mentor is the most serious misstep.
College students party. That's not exactly breaking news, and Manziel shouldn't apologize for having fun, if that's what in fact happened.
But if it got in the way of his responsibilities, that's crossing a line.
He was invited to the camp to be a coach and a mentor, so his responsibility is to be a coach and a mentor. This isn't a case of leaving friends high and dry in downtown College Station. He was invited to be a coach and mentor by one of the most prestigious football families in the country—a family that has connections to all 32 of Manziel's potential future employers in the NFL.
That's not only irresponsible, it's dumb.
It shows selfishness and a lack of maturity.
It's an honor to be invited to the Manning Passing Academy and asked to join the staff of players and coaches from the NFL and college football. After accepting the invitation to be on staff, Manziel had a responsibility to work with the campers who attended.
His departure under curious circumstances is a bad look.
Does it impact Texas A&M's season? That'd be a stretch.
Is Manziel being sent home from the Manning Passing Academy a big deal?
Manziel's alleged lack of maturity and dedication to the Manning camp can be related to his preparation for the 2013 season. But let's be real—even if he isn't prepared now, he still has plenty of time to fix that during fall camp.
The timing of his departure from the camp couldn't be worse.
On Wednesday morning, Manziel will make the rounds in Hoover, Ala., at SEC Media Days. While most of the off-the-field questions can (and will) be easily handled by the media-savvy quarterback, this one won't be as easy.
He doesn't have to apologize for partying, throwing out the first pitch at baseball games and hanging out at Mardi Gras or in Cabo San Lucas. That's "living the dream." But he does—and should—apologize to not only the Mannings, but the campers if his partying came at the expense of his coaching and mentoring responsibilities.
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