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Joe Namath wants Johnny Manziel on field vs. Alabama

Joe Namath doesn't want one of the greatest potential matchups in college football this season spoiled by a suspension for Johnny Manziel.

Broadway Joe joined NFL Network's Rich Eisen on his podcast Tuesday, and made it clear he wants Texas A&M's star sophomore quarterback between the lines on Kyle Field Sept. 14 against defending national champion Alabama.

"I hope he does play," said the former Crimson Tide quarterback.

With either an NCAA or an institutional decision on Manziel's eligibility amid accusations that he profited from mass autograph sessions with memorabilia dealers days or perhaps hours away, Namath questioned whether Manziel would, for free, sign some  4,400 autographs, the rough number alleged aggregately in three ESPN reports. Namath noted charity or military support as two legitimate causes for such a number.

Namath indicated that modern college athletes are wise to these rules.

"I think in this day and age, that any athlete on the college level would be smart enough to know not to breach the kind of rules that they may be accusing Manziel of breaching," Namath said. "I hope he does play. I hope he has been clean of this situation and it's been a misunderstanding of some nature. But, Rich, I don't see a guy signing 4,000-plus autographs doing it out of the goodness of his heart unless it's for charity or the military or something."

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.

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