Regardless of what you think of how it ended — or whether it was really an elaborate Onion ruse — the Johnny Manziel case was officially closed yesterday afternoon.
In a joint press release, Texas A&M and the NCAA announced that, while the quarterback has been declared ineligible, he will be reinstated provided he meets three conditions, one of which involves sitting out the first half of the season opener against Rice. A&M athletic director Eric Hyman’s statement expressed thanks to the NCAA for “not only for its fairness and professionalism throughout this process, but also for the expediency of its actions.”
Not so surprisingly, Manziel’s family’s statement doesn’t include the letters “N” “C” “A” “A” grouped together to form The Association’s acronym. Instead, in a statement released exclusively to AggieSports.com, the family of the reigning Heisman winner expressed their thanks to the university and the powerful legal teamboth sides had assembled.
“The Manziel family thanks Texas A&M University for its significant efforts on behalf of their son, and stands united with Texas A&M. The Manziel family sends a special thank you to their attorneys, Jim Darnell, Brad Beckworth and Jeff Angelovich, for their tireless determination on behalf of Johnny. We are looking forward to seeing Johnny back on the field against Rice.”
In the release, which followed an investigation that lasted less than a month, it was “confirmed… that there is no evidence that quarterback Johnny Manziel received money in exchange for autographs, based on currently available information and statements by Manziel.” There was, however, found to be an inadvertent violation of an NCAA bylaw that puts the onus on a player to prevent his likeness/image/autograph from being used for commercial purposes, a notion that’s ripped to shreds by the great Dan Wetzel of Yahoo! Sports.
Barry Switzer and Tulsa have some fun with Baker Mayfield’s arrest
Enjoying some down time in Fayetteville, Ark., Mayfield was booked on charges of public intoxication, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and fleeing the scene.
Those last two parts have drawn the brunt of the attention since the news went public, specifically this portion from the police report:
I told Mayfield to come over to me. When I gave that command, Mayfield began to walk away from me. I repeatedly told him to stop. Mayfield then began to sprint away. I chased after him. Mayfield was tackled to the ground.
For what it’s worth, Mayfield shredded Tulsa in their one meeting to date in 2015, hitting 32-of-38 passes for 487 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions while rushing 13 times for 85 yards and two touchdowns in a 52-38 Sooners win.
UCF announces largest financial gift in school history for athletics department renovations
UCF announced the largest financial gift in school history from UCF alum Kenneth Dixon. The donation will help give UCF the support needed to move forward with its athletics facility upgrades, including an athletics village. Among those upgrades will be an expansion to the school’s baseball stadium and basketball facility, as well as a better atmosphere outside the football stadium for fans.
As far as the football program is concerned, the upgrades to the football operations and athletics headquarters have received a $2 million commitment to date. Most of the renovations will help bring the school’s other sports programs up to a more level playing field, but the football stadium will be given a fresh look on he outside with a plaza and promenade to make for a more inviting atmosphere for UCF fans before and after home football games.
In all, UCF is looking to invest $25 million in the renovation project, and the recent donation from Dixon has helped the school cross the $10 million benchmark.
“With more than $10 million committed to our $25 million facilities vision, our goal is to build the best Athletics Village in the nation,” UCF Athletics Director Danny White said in a released statement. “Thanks to Ken Dixon’s gift of more than $5 million, we’ve taken a major step in that direction.”
Sirk was Duke’s leading passer in 2015 with 2,625 passing yards and 16 touchdowns with eight interceptions. He was also Duke’s leading rusher that season with 803 rushing yards and eight rushing touchdowns. Naturally, he will likely be a quality dual-threat option for whatever program lands his services in 2017. As a graduate transfer, he will be eligible to play this fall at any FBS program.
With the rights to use “Row the Boat” successfully acquired through a deal with Western Michigan, Minnesota is going all in with the merchandising efforts to capitalize on the motto of P.J. Fleck. Aside from being able to use the motto for program-building measures, Minnesota has the rights to market the saying on merchandise, including an upcoming bobblehead featuring Minnesota’s Gopher mascot.
A limited edition University of Minnesota bobblehead featuring Goldy Gopher rowing a boat was unveiled on Friday by the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum. Though just an illustration now, it looks incredibly promising and I sort of want to add it to my bobblehead collection.