The long-term future of Johnny Manziel as it pertains to the 2013 season may still be unclear, but it appears there is at least a little clarity to the short-term.
Citing “[a]n industry source briefed late last week by a high-ranking A&M official,” CBSSports.com‘s Jeremy Fowler reported Saturday afternoon that the Aggies have “no plans” to sit the reigning Heisman winner for next Saturday’s opener against Rice. The NCAA is conducting an investigation into Manziel regarding claims that the quarterback received money this offseason in exchange for his signature on memorabilia. Both the Manziels and A&M have retained attorneys well-versed in the ways of The Association.
As if to highlight the stance laid out by Fowler in his report, A&M has done nothing on the practice field to suggest they are prepping for life without Johnny, giving him the his normal reps in lieu of getting another player at the position ready.
Fowler’s report is the latest in a series of mini-developments that would suggest A&M fears no repercussions from the NCAA in playing Manziel while in the midst of an investigation.
Earlier this week, A&M president John Sharp laid out a very public, forceful and vociferous defense of the star quarterback.
“I know he’s innocent,” Sharp told KBTX News 3 in College Station. “I know that he didn’t do what they accused him of doing.
“I think that it’s time that we, once we knew what the facts are and we know the facts … and I’ve seen what everybody else has seen now, and the rest of the country is going to get to see that before it’s over with. It was a bunch of hype journalism.
“I’ve seen things that other folks can’t see. And it didn’t happen. It did not happen.”
A day earlier, the president lashed out in an email to boosters regarding Darren Rovell‘s latest ESPN.com report, with KBTX-TV writing that “Sharp criticized ESPN and people who “have chosen to declare # 2 guilty with no evidence whatsoever.”
In May of this year, the SEC announced it was creating its own network that will debut next August, a joint venture with, of course, ESPN.