Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel has endured a tumultuous offseason after becoming the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy last year.
A number of incidents away from the gridiron, most notably a scandal in which Manziel allegedly profited off of autographs, have brought him under intense scrutiny. According to Billy Liucci of TexAgs.com, Manziel will be suspended for the first half of the season opener against Rice on Saturday:
ESPN's Brett McMurphy corroborated what Liucci reported:
Liucci also noted that all signs seem to indicate that Manziel isn't guilty of selling his autograph for money:
That confirms a Monday evening report from ESPN.com's Travis Haney, who stated that Manziel met with the NCAA for six hours and denied such activity.
ESPN.com news services reported Wednesday that the one-half suspension was mutually agreed upon between the Aggies and the NCAA.
McMurphy then cited a source who said Manziel's light suspension seals up the NCAA's investigation on the autograph scandal, as the NCAA has officially acknowledged that Manziel did not accept money:
With the lightning-rod type of attention that Manziel tends to attract, the Twitterverse predictably had plenty to say when news of this development broke.
Andrew Siciliano of NFL Network had some particularly scathing words for the NCAA:
ESPN expert Joe Schad elaborated on the precedent this autograph controversy might set for other players entering the 2013 season:
CBS Sports Radio Network's John Kincade implied that the school and Manziel might be acknowledging some sort of wrongdoing in their agreement to hold Johnny Football out of action:
Former NFL star Deion Sanders wasn't exactly thrilled with the decision:
Sanders is referring to a meal he had with Dez Bryant that ended up costing the former Oklahoma State star most of the 2009 season.
With regard to the NCAA, the Peyton's Head parody account has already taken care of ripping into the brass involved in investigating Manziel:
Anthony Lima of 92.3 The Fan in Cleveland provided his own humorous spin on the autographing issue:
Omaha.com's Dirk Chatelain was rightly confused as to what Manziel was suspended for precisely, if not for the alleged autograph signings:
B/R's own Lead College Football Writer Adam Kramer provided his take, describing a mock exchange between those involved in the NCAA:
Chris Huston points out how Manziel is the first returning Heisman winner to be suspended in some regard:
Matt De Lima of FFToolbox.com expressed similar sentiments to Siciliano’s:
InsideCarolina.com's Dijana Kunovac brought up a fair point, noting that Manziel likely would have sat in the second half against Rice, since the Aggies are heavily favored:
John Dell of the Winston-Salem Journal highlighted the upside in terms of interest Manziel generates in the sport of college football when he is on the field. It was a rare and a vague endorsement of the ruling:
The general consensus is that Manziel's punishment isn't heavy enough if he is guilty, and there is prominent confusion as to why he was disciplined at all if he hadn't done anything wrong.