Reports: Johnny Manziel suspended for first half of season opener
COLLEGE STATION, TX (KLTV) -
ESPN is reporting that Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel will be suspended for the first half of Saturday's opener against Rice. The suspension comes as the result of an agreement between Texas A&M and the NCAA.
ESPN's Brett McMurphy says that the suspension "closes the book" on accusations that Manziel accepted money to sign autographs, after the NCAA acknowledged that the quarterback did not accept money.
In a statement released by Texas A&M and the NCAA, there was no evidence that Manziel got money for autographs, but an "inadvertent violation" with signings led to the half-game suspension.
Conditions for Manziel's reinstatement are as follows:
• A one-half game suspension for Manziel
• Manziel will address the team regarding the situation and lessons learned
• Texas A&M will revise its future education concerning student-athlete autographs for individuals with multiple items
"I am proud of the way both Coach Sumlin and Johnny handled this situation, with integrity and honesty," said A&M chancellor John Sharp. "We all take the Aggie Code of Honor very seriously and there is no evidence that either the university or Johnny violated that code."
Manziel met with the NCAA for almost six hours on Sunday talking to investigators about the alleged signings.
The meetings all stemmed from reports that the NCAA was investigating Manziel for taking money to sign autographs during the time of the BCS National Championship game in South Florida. ESPN also reported that a set of autograph dealers said the quarterback accepted payment to sign more than 4,000 items, including footballs and photographs, in late January.
In Manziel's absence, Texas A&M will start either junior Matt Joeckel or freshman Kenny Hill at quarterback.
The Texas A&M/Rice matchup kicks off on Saturday at noon on ESPN. Texas A&M is ranked seventh in the preseason Associated Press poll.