Things are moving fast for Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel. Six months ago, Manziel was just a redshirt freshman starting his first college game against Florida. Now, he’s the reigning Heisman Trophy winner and will undoubtedly have the largest target on his back when the 2013 season starts up next fall.
It’s no surprise then that Manziel is already thinking about his future. Speaking with reporters Tuesday following A&M’s practice — something he wasn’t permitted to do for much of last season — Manziel confirmed that he and his family are looking into securing an insurance policy in the event of an injury that would prevent him from playing in the pros.
“We’re currently in the process of doing that,” Manziel said. “It’s just a precaution. I think there’s a lot of players who have done it in the past and you never know what could happen. Football is a dangerous sport, so you kind of have to make sure that you take a precaution in that regard.”
Manziel added he didn’t know how much the policy would be worth.
He’s certainly not the first player to ever take out a policy, but it’s a bit baffling to think he could be entering the NFL draft one year from now. Following the 2013 season, Manziel, a redshirt sophomore, will have completed three years of college. That’s enough to technically make him eligible to depart.
Or, he could stay another two years if he wanted. Manziel hasn’t tipped his hand on what his future plans are and there’s really no way of knowing right now, but he’ll surely be asked about it this upcoming season. A lot, probably. That’s part of the territory for him now. So far, he’s handled the frenzy well. I wouldn’t expect this year to be much different.
(Hat tip: Sam Khan Jr., ESPN’s RecruitingNation)
Suspended North Carolina linebacker Allen Artis is scheduled to begin a legal battle in court on Thursday to defend himself against misdemeanor charges of sexual battery and assault on a female student. Before heading to court, Artis made time for a sit-down session with the media, with his mother and aunt by his side. Artis says the sexual interaction was a consensual act and says he did not rape Delaney Robinson, the UNC student who filed the claim she was raped by Artis on Valentine’s Day this year.
”Everything was completely consensual that happened that night,” Artis said in an interview with members of the media on Tuesday. ”That’s the truth.”
As previously reported earlier this month, Robinson reported the alleged rape to university police and UNC’s Title IX office. Robinson has accused the university of taking too long to proceed with its response to her allegations, which is why she made the decision to go public with her story.
Once Robinson went public with her story, UNC indefinitely suspended Artis the following morning. At this point, the legal process will now run its course before UNC makes any further decision on Artis’ status with the program, and the university if needed.
Artis played in each of UNC’s first two games this season and, of course, has not seen the field since.
A game wasn’t the only thing Michigan State lost this past weekend.
At some point in the second half of Saturday’s loss to Wisconsin, starting outside linebacker Jon Reschke sustained an injury to his ankle. Tuesday, head coach Mark Dantonio described the as a severe ankle sprain, and, as a result, Reschke will be sidelined “for a significant period of time.”
A year after starting all 14 games for the Spartans, Reschke started two of the first three this season. The junior missed the season opener because of another injury.
The news wasn’t completely negative on the linebacking front for Sparty, though.
Riley Bullough missed the Badgers game with an undisclosed injury. Dantonio labeled Bullough as “day-to-day” and left the door open for the starting middle linebacker to play against Indiana Saturday.
A decision on the status of Bullough, who entered Week 4 tied for the team lead in tackles, will be made later on in the week.
A report surfaced Monday that, in its search for a replacement for the deposed Les Miles, LSU was set to gauge the interest of a handful of big-name head coaches, among them Ohio State’s Urban Meyer.
With the opening of Big Ten play on tap for this weekend, the Buckeyes head coach wasted little time in shooting down the speculation connecting him to the Bayou Bengals.
“No, I’ve not been contacted,” Meyer said of LSU during the Big Ten’s weekly teleconference. “And I’m going to be the coach at Ohio State.”
Meyer is in his fifth season as the head coach at OSU, guiding the Buckeyes to a 53-4 mark in that span. For perspective, the Tigers have lost four of their last eight games, paving the way for unceremonious ouster and Meyer’s name being mentioned in connection to the opening.
Alabama’s Nick Saban was also mentioned as a coach who LSU would gauge his interest in the job.
After a very public back and forth between the police and university, Washington State has some (somewhat) positive off-field news on which to celebrate.
Monday, Whitman County (WA) prosecutor Denis Tracy announced that he will not file charges against Cougars safety Shalom Luani in connection to a fight outside of a Pullman Domino’s Pizza shop. Video evidence indicated that it was Luani who broke a man’s nose with a punch; however, the prosecutor stated that a jury would likely conclude that Luani, who claimed he was ambushed by six males who pushed him from inside the pizza shop outside and sustained a concussion in the scuffle, had acted in self-defense.
From Tracy’s letter to the alleged victim:
[I]n order to prove that a criminal assault happened, the prosecutor must not only prove that the suspect hit someone, but the prosecutor must also prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the suspect was not acting in self defense.”
“In this case, it is my view that no reasonable jury could conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Luani was not acting in self defense. …
“Since I cannot prove that Mr. Luani was not acting in self-defense. I cannot prove that he committed a criminal assault.
WSU athletic director Bill Moos, who along with the university’s president met with the chief of the Pullman Police Department earlier this month, issued a statement expressing his happiness over the prosecutor’s decision.
We are pleased that the prosecuting attorney’s office came to the same conclusion as we did regarding this case. While not always afforded the opportunity, I believe this illustrates the stance we have taken from the beginning which is to handle such matters internally, not speak in great detail, until the legal process has played out. Though we choose to reserve comment on such instances, we continue to cooperate with law enforcement, and assume innocent until proven guilty. We will not engage in public debate, rather, will let the legal process run its course, and as best we can gain an understanding of all the facts, without publicly acknowledging guilt or innocence prematurely. We will continue to educate our student-athletes on representing our fine university is a positive manner and also emphasize they remove themselves from situations that have the potential to impact them and the university negatively.
Luani started all 13 games for the Cougars last season after transferring from the junior college ranks, earning honorable mention All-Pac-12 honors. This season, he leads the team with two interceptions.