Texas A&M opens preseason camp today. As of late last week, Johnny Manziel was scheduled to be part of the group available for interviews.
Thanks to a Sunday evening piece from “Outside the Lines” alleging that the NCAA is looking into whether or not Manziel put his Herbie Hancock on memorabilia in exchange for a five-figure payment, A&M’s plans have changed. An email with a revised group of available players was released shortly after the ESPN piece was published. Not surprisingly, Manziel wasn’t on it.
If there’s an ongoing NCAA investigation, no one from A&M, Manziel included, would be allowed to talk about it. If there wasn’t an investigation, A&M wouldn’t answer questions in great detail anyway. Normally, an athlete at the center of a story should be available for questions, but when it comes to the NCAA, there’s no reason for it. Besides, other players are going to get plenty of questions about it anyway.
However, A&M associate athletic director Jason Cook did tell the San Antonio Express-News that “Manziel will be at practice” in the evening.
There’s already been a lot of speculation about how much time Manziel could potentially miss if the NCAA finds evidence that he received impermissible payments. But until the NCAA does, or until the NCAA finds a violation in general, there’s nothing to rule Manziel ineligible for. Unless that happens, he’ll be allowed to practice, and potentially, play.