It's not that Bryant has anything against the reigning Heisman winner; he just wants to see some semblance of consistency from the NCAA and their rules, no matter how much he may take issue with them. Per Clarence Hill and the Star-Telegram:
Hell yeah, I'll be mad. I will be mad. But I don’t want him to get suspended. I will be mad more at the NCAA on how they do things. I just feel like it’s not fair. This is something I have no problem talking about because I feel like somebody needs to say something to him and let it be known how they treat people is not right.
The star wide receiver is well versed in being on the wrong side of the NCAA law. He was suspended for most of his final season at Oklahoma State in 2009 for lying to the NCAA about his relationship with Deion Sanders. Bryant had burst onto the national scene as a sophomore in 2008 with 87 receptions, 1,480 yards and 19 touchdowns.
Manziel, of course, finds himself under investigation for allegedly receiving money in exchange for autographs on six different occasions in three different states, according to Darren Rovell and Justine Gubar of ESPN.
Surprisingly, Bryant doesn't take issue with what Manziel has done at all. He believes Manziel should be able to make money off of his name and doesn't side with the NCAA's rules:
He should be able to sign as many autographs and make as much money as he wants, because it’s his name. I feel like he’s the one who created it. He should be able to do whatever he feels as long as it’s legal and I don’t think there’s anything illegal about signing a picture of yourself and making money off himself. Shoot, the NCAA is making money off of it when they’re selling those No. 2 shirts. Why can’t he make a little bit of money off of it
As big of a star as Bryant was entering his junior season, there are few cases in college football history of a player walking in a bigger spotlight than Manziel heading into this season after accruing 5,000 total yards in his redshirt freshman, Heisman-winning campaign.
Should the NCAA decide to suspend Manziel, they would be losing one of the biggest and most marketable stars in the sport. However, Bryant has a point—if he was suspended for something as simple as working out with Deion Sanders and not telling the truth about it, Manziel shouldn't get away with violating other NCAA bylaws without some ramifications.
Regardless of whether the NCAA's policies are right, they are still the measuring stick by which all players are judged, regardless of star power.
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