In This Corner: Manziel not a cheater
Johnny Manziel took college football by storm last season, throwing for 3,706 yards and 26 touchdowns, while also rushing for 1,410 yards and 21 touchdowns for Texas A&M University.
Not to mention, he was the first freshman to ever win the Heisman Trophy.
But Manziel’s perfection was destroyed this offseason, as his partying caught up with him. All kinds of stories came out about Manziel’s immaturity and how he was constantly making the wrong choices.
To top it all off, Manziel was accused of making money off of signed memorabilia. College players are not allowed to profit from autographs, meaning Manziel could have been suspended for the entire season.
Luckily for Johnny Football, there wasn’t enough evidence to suspend him for the year and he was only suspended for the first half against Rice.
So with the terrible offseason Manziel had, you would think he would just let his play do the talking when he got on the field. Too bad that wasn’t the case.
Manziel came out as the starter for the Aggies in the second half, going 6-8 for 94 yards and 3 touchdowns. But his stats weren’t the story of the game. He ended up getting two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties for taunting Rice players. This led to him getting benched and being the focal point of ESPN the rest of the week.
Which brings up the point of, is Manziel the hero or villain of college football? It really depends on how you look at it.
Yes, Manziel has been making dumb offseason mistakes and his taunting isn’t the way football should be played. But he’s been thrown into the spotlight ever since he won the Heisman and news outlets just want to see him as the bad guy.
The fact that people were calling him a cheater because he made money off of signing memorabilia is a poor choice of words. A better term would be Manziel “broke the rules.”
The term cheater should be reserved for athletes like Yankee star Alex Rodriguez, track star Marion Jones and cyclist Lance Armstrong. They used banned substances in order to gain an unfair advantage against their opponents. Manziel did nothing to affect his play, so the fact that he’s being called a cheater is a little over the top.
The one thing that can’t be taken away from Manziel is his play. He has completely taken over college football and he’s only a sophomore. His slipperiness in the pocket kills defenses and he has the ability to throw well on the run.
Many consider Manziel to be the villain of college football, but I have to disagree with it. He’s a player that has all the talent in the world and knows how to show it. The fact that he can turn the autograph dilemma into his own celebration dance is fantastic.
Whether or not you like Johnny Manziel, you can bet you’ll be hearing about him all season. So why not enjoy what the young star is going to do next.