Boy, the NCAA and Texas A&M sure did drop the hammer on Heisman Trophy winner and Aggies starting quarterback Johnny Manziel (please read with the proper amount of sarcasm).
Manziel has been embroiled in an autograph-for-cash scandal for most of the summer, which is a big no-no according to NCAA rules. So the ruling body of major college athletics and the university came to what they believe is appropriate punishment: Manziel will sit out the first half of the Aggies’ season opener against Rice University — which is hardly the same caliber of team the Aggies will face in Southeastern Conference games.
Ooooh. That will teach him.
Give me a break. First of all, the Rice game is what football people call a “body bag” game, a matchup that features a national power taking on a team that has no chance of beating the big bully. All it is is a payday for the small school — get its hat handed to it, collect millions of dollars and slink away.
For Manziel to miss just the first half of this game in ludicrous. Why not just have him miss a day of practice? It would have the same effect. Want to really punish him and the Aggies? Have Manziel sit out the first half of the Alabama game — THAT would have an impact.
Secondly, as far am I’m concerned, if anyone believes Manziel — who supposedly signed his name on hundreds of pieces of memorabilia — did not take money for these sessions, you’re delusional. Memorabilia agents, who were allegedly in the room at the time of the autograph session, have said, point blank, “Johnny Football” did, indeed, take money in exchange for his John Hancock.
Which leads me to my third point. The fact the NCAA could not corroborate these reports during its investigation, once again shows how inept the NCAA is at finding real infractions against big-name schools.
But what incentive does it have to do so? Texas A&M brings in tens of millions of dollars, some of which must surely end up in the coffers of the NCAA. That’s why the big name schools continue to get away with skirting the NCAA law, but a student-athlete using a Humboldt State University spigot and hose to wash her car gets dinged for an NCAA infraction.
Hopefully, Texas A&M can “escape” with a win over the Owls despite Manziel’s “stiff” discipline.
What a joke.
The football coaches in the West Catholic Athletic League were polled about the predicted WCAL standings for the upcoming season. Serra was chosen to win the championship, followed by Bellarmine, Valley Christian, defending Central Coast Section Open Division champs St. Ignatius, St. Francis in sixth, with Sacred Heart Cathedral and Riordan bringing up the rear.
While this predicted order of finish might excite some Padres fans, I can almost guarantee you coach Patrick Walsh is rolling his eyes and massaging his temples. First off, Walsh could care less about polls and top-10 lists. This will just add to the pressure on him and the Padres to do what is expected of him by Padre Nation: bring home a WCAL crown.
My guess is that every coach truly believes his team will win the title, but doesn’t want the pressure of being picked to win the championship, so they sandbag their team while propping up another. There is no question Serra should factor into the championship race. But every game in the WCAL is a battle of attrition. There are no days off when it comes to the WCAL schedule. The team that wins the crown will definitely have earned it. But that won’t be decided until the end of the season.
The only poll that matters is the one at the end of the season, not the beginning.
There will be a celebration honoring the Belmont-Redwood Shores 11-12 Little League All-Star team from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 15 at the Belmont Sports Complex.
The BRS All Stars went on a magical run during the Little League all-star season this summer. After winning the District 52 crown, BRS went on to win the Section 3 and Division 2 tournaments to advance to the Little League Western Regional tournament in San Bernardino, the first District 52 team during the modern era to do so.
BRS advanced to the championship game of the Western Regional tournament, coming up one win short of qualifying for the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa. The team that beat BRS, Eastlake Little League of Chula Vista, made it all the way to championship game of the World Series before falling 6-4 to Japan Sunday afternoon.
The celebration at the Belmont Sports Complex will feature a ceremony honoring the team, barbecue, a jump house and fire trucks.
Nathan Mollat can be reached by email: email@example.com or by phone: 344-5200 ext. 117. He can also be followed on Twitter @CheckkThissOutt.