O Brien Award Manziel Football

Unlike other incidents, Manziel’s potential NCAA issue actually affects his future


Johnny Manziel, as far as any of us know right now, may or may not have signed a hell of a lot of memorabilia in exchange for money.

If he didn’t — Manziel has apparently relayed as much, and on numerous occasions, to Texas A&M before — then this will turn into another story that appears to vilify the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, whose exposure has exploded to phenomenal heights over the past several months.

If he did and he’s caught, then his eligibility for part or all of the 2013 season would come into serious question. All for doing what he should be allowed to do no matter how well-off he and his family are: profit off his name and signature.

Plenty of other people are allowed to profit off Manziel’s talent and hard work. When an A&M fan purchases a No. 2 jersey, they’re choosing Manziel over any other number available because of what he’s done. Whichever company made that jersey sees the revenue, while Manziel doesn’t see a dime. When EA Sports and Collegiate Licensing Company work together to create a Texas A&M quarterback who’s six feet tall, 200 pounds and rates among the best players in the country for their video game franchise, they eventually profit off a replicated, digital Manziel. When a television company broadcasts an A&M game, they’ll profit off the excitement that Manziel brings to a football field.

Even a random Joe Fan tried to profit off Manziel’s “Johnny Football” persona before Manziel’s LLC, JMAN2 Enterprises, stepped in earlier this year.

It’s a horrific model, and if the Ed O’Bannon plaintiffs get their way, active student-athlete in men’s basketball and football will one day be allowed to receive a cut every time someone else uses their name, image or likeness.

But, as of right now, NCAA rules dictate that an athlete can’t receive extra benefits or profit off their name. And I’m certain Manziel’s well aware of those rules.

So if the NCAA exercises its resources and finds Manziel was paid in exchange for signing some pictures or helmets, well, he has to accept not only whatever inevitable suspension he’ll receive, but own that he knowingly broke the rules no matter how asinine they are. Don’t think it’s a slam dunk that Manziel could cheat the system and work through his parents or friends, either. Although parents don’t have to cooperate with the NCAA like Manziel does as a current student-athlete, if the NCAA finds that Manziel’s parents or a friend received benefits on his behalf, the NCAA could enforce the Cam Newton rule, which expands the circle of who’s responsible in such an instance.

Manziel is, by all accounts, an engaging and likable guy. But he doesn’t cater to anyone’s standards, and he doesn’t apologize for it. Those are qualities that actually make Manziel fun to follow and, from a personal standpoint, easy to root for. It’s also what gets him in trouble from time to time. Most of that trouble is harmless and has no direct influence on how he interacts with his teammates and coaches or prepares for a game. But accepting money for autographs would be an obviously different situation.

Where a suspension for doing so could hurt Manziel the most is his future in the NFL. Pro clubs don’t necessarily care that Manziel (allegedly) profited from his name, just like they don’t care that he vents over Twitter about a parking ticket or gets kicked out of a frat party. Rather, they care about how he improves his game and his potential value to the organization.

The primary knocks on Manziel are his size and the fact that he’s only played one year in college. There’s plenty of intrigue about Manziel as a pro prospect, but simply put, there just aren’t a lot of reps of him to scout. If Manziel misses a considerable amount of time in 2013, and there aren’t many people lately who feel Manziel plans on staying in College Station past that point, then he hasn’t done much to help his draft stock. In that case, he may have to come back for 2014.

It would be an ironic result for a player whose identity is so awesomely anti-NCAA.

Colorado loses starting LB Kenneth Olugbode for 4-6 weeks

during the Rocky Mountain Showdown at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on September 19, 2015 in Denver, Colorado.
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Colorado had already lost one starting inside linebacker to injury.  Now, the Buffs have lost another.

Kenneth Olugbode sustained an unspecified leg injury in the Week 5 loss to Oregon. As a result, Olugbode will miss 4-6 weeks.

At minimum, Olugbode will miss games against Arizona State, Arizona, Oregon State and UCLA, possibly returning for the Nov. 7 game against Stanford. Missing six weeks would see him miss the Stanford and USC games, returning, Nov. 21 vs. Washington State.

It’s going to be a big loss,” defensive tackle Justin Solis said according to the Denver Post. “It starts up front with us, the D-line. Not having K.O. out there is a huge loss, but it’s definitely something we accept as a challenge as a D-line. We’re going to step it up while he’s out.”

Olugbode had started all five games this season after starting all 12 games as a sophomore last season. Ryan Severson is expected to take his place in the starting lineup.

Dismissed Wolverine Logan Tuley-Tillman charged with three felonies

Logan Tuley-Tillman
Michigan Athletics

Back on September 10, it was announced that Jim Harbaugh had dismissed Logan Tuley-Tillman for “conduct unacceptable for a Michigan student-athlete.”  Now we know what that unacceptable conduct was.  Allegedly.

Wednesday morning, mlive.com is reporting, Tuley-Tillman was charged with three felonies stemming from a Sept. 4 incident in which he’s accused of filming a sex act with a woman without her knowledge. Tuley-Tillman was officially charged with two counts of capturing/distributing an image of an unclothed person and one count of using a computer to commit a crime.

From the report:

Capturing/distributing an image of an unclothed person is punishable by up to two years in prison, a fine of no more than $2,000, or both. Using a computer to commit a crime, in this case, would be punishable by up to 10 years in prison, a fine of no more than $5,000, or both.

The incident occurred in the 300 block of Catherine Street Sept. 4. Tuley-Tillman is accused of filming a portion of a sexual encounter with a woman without her knowledge and then transmitting it to his personal device without her permission, according to Ann Arbor police.

Tuley-Tillman was a four-star member of Brady Hoke‘s second-to-last UM recruiting class, rated as the No. 24 offensive tackle in the country and the No. 7 player at any position in the state of Illinois.  He played in one game as a redshirt freshman last season, the season opener against Appalachian State.

This season, he had been listed as the No. 2 left tackle and played in the 2015 opener.