Texas A&M has "no plans" to sit Heisman-winning quarterback Johnny Manziel for its season-opener against Rice because of its confidence its case in the NCAA's investigation into Manziel allegedly profiting from autographs, according to CBSSports.com.
A high-ranking Texas A&M official, not named in the report, made the comment, per the website.
If Texas A&M plays Manziel this season before the NCAA completes its investigation, and Manziel is subsequently ruled ineligible, the Aggies likely would be forced to vacate any victories in which Manziel played. Three ESPN reports have placed Manziel signing more than 4,000 autographs over six sessions for three different memorabilia dealers, one of whom alleged a payment of $7,500 to Manziel. That would violate NCAA rules, hence, Manziel's eligibility is at risk as the NCAA navigates the case.
The report of TAMU's plans to play Manziel with or without NCAA clearance certainly is supported by the school's actions as the investigation has continued. Coach Kevin Sumlin maintained throughout the preseason that Manziel would receive normal practice repetitions with the first-team offense, which Manziel did. Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp also proclaimed Manziel's innocence Thursday.
If Texas A&M plays Manziel against the Owls next Saturday absent NCAA clearance, the school will no doubt make a public statement about its own findings at some point during the practice week.
Your move, NCAA.