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 team both 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.