Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Johnny Manziel Gets Meaningless Suspension

Reason #1,384 that I'm getting sick of big time college football. The NCAA decides to discipline Johnny Manziel by suspending him for the first half of Texas A&M's game against Rice. RICE! A&M is going to slaughter Rice, with or without Manziel. And Manziel still gets to play a half.

I don't know whether Manziel should have been punished or not. The NCAA has cleared him of the paid autograph charges. But if you're going to punish a player/program/school, make it a real punishment. Something that will have impact. Something that will have an effect on the player/program/school. Manziel probably would have been benched for most of this game anyway. What difference does it make if he sits the first half or the second?

The punishment was agreed upon by the NCAA and A&M. Which I don't get. Because what did Manziel do wrong if he didn't get paid to sign autographs? If he did nothing wrong, let him play. If he did something wrong, give him a real punishment.

What's the NCAA trying to do with this punishment? It won't deter Manziel or any other player from doing anything wrong. It doesn't hurt A&M for losing control of a player. I think the NCAA is just trying to make itself appear like it has some power. Which it doesn't. The NCAA is a weak, withered, impotent force that wields no real power over schools, except to punish them when some other group or organization uncovers rampant violations and wrongdoing.

Manziel is good for business. He's good for A&M, he's good for ESPN's and CBS's TV ratings, he's good for the SEC, he's good for the NCAA. This token "no-one is above the law" suspension is an effort to prove that even the Johnny Manziels of the college football world are subject to NCAA and school rules. But they're not. The existence of this suspension actually proves how out of control the NCAA is. Otherwise they wouldn't try so hard to appear to be in control.