In a television interview, Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp indicated he has seen enough evidence to conclude that TAMU quarterback Johnny Manziel is innocent of allegations that he broke NCAA rules by profiting from thousands of autographs.
"I know he's innocent," Sharp said. "I know that he didn't do what they accused him of doing, and I think that it's time that we, once we knew what the facts are and we know the facts, and I've seen what everybody else has seen now, and the rest of the country is going to get to see that before it's over with. It was a bunch of hype journalism."
Multiple ESPN reports have implicated Manziel for six alleged autograph sessions for three memorabilia brokers in three different states. One of those reports alleged a direct payment of $7,500 to Manziel. If the NCAA investigation finds Manziel accepted payments, he could be ruled ineligible for a number of games or perhaps the entire season, depending on circumstances.
If Sharp's comments can be taken as a proxy for the TAMU athletic department's ultimate stance on the matter, you can bet Manziel will be on the field Aug. 31 when the Aggies host Rice in the season opener.
"I've seen things that other folks can't see. And it didn't happen. It did not happen," Sharp said.