Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Temple, TX
Section: Sec 118 Row H
Ok, this is from a guy I know who is an A&M insider who runs one of the major A&M message boards (not TexAgs). What he says makes sense.
At this point, I have no idea what is fact, what is fiction, what is legal mumbo-jumbo, what is conspiracy, how many people do it, etc.
At this point, I think that's what all parties want. If the truth becomes confusing and fuzzy, all major parties have an out and win.
1) The organization on the hottest seat is the NCAA. They no more wanted to deal with this issue because of the pending lawsuits. They also don't want to see the most marketable player in college football sidelined, especially for the biggest game of the year. In addition, A&M and Manziel have lawyered up and the NCAA enforcement group have been decimated in recent months with defections. They simply don't have the resources or the expertise to deal with legal resources on the other side.
2) CBS wants Johnny to play in the Alabama game...period. They also want to see their competitor, ESPN, get negative publicity for this story.
3) ESPN's junior investigative reporter thought he was going to make his career with this story and he came out of the gates guns a-blazing. But the more this story lingers, the more the ESPN brass is wondering why they want to scuttle their biggest storyline of the year and where they will be on 9/14...the A&M-Alabama game. ESPN management doesn't seem to have the stomach to pursue this much longer.
4) A&M wants this to go away for so many obvious reasons, but it doesn't help that these questions have arisen during the Kyle Field capital campaign. Plus, from a sports standpoint, the football team and many other teams like basketball and baseball are bringing in a bunch of critical recruits for the big Alabama weekend. The weekend falls flat without manziel on the field.
5) The biggest invisible hand that we haven't talked about much is Mike Slive and the SEC Conference. If you don't think they aren't putting pressure on the NCAA and ESPN to drop this, then you under-estimate the power of Slive.
Bottomn line, whether you like what has happened or not...whether you believe Manziel is innocent or not...whether you think the college game has become too dirty and too commercial...people want to see the A&M-Alabama game with Manziel. THose that dislike Manziel want to see Alabama and Nick Saban get their revenge. Manziel fans want to see him show the naysayers and haters that he is still the magical playermaker and take down mighty Alabama again.
And thus, networks, advertisers, SEC conference officials, NFL scouts, and yes even the NCAA wants this game in all it's glory with Johnny Manziel participating.
Really, the only complication is that the NCAA needs a path to exit this investigation without looking inept and weak. They simply don't want to drop the investigation without any findings or closure. So that's why I'm assuming the lawyers in the room are discussing ways to end this saga quickly that gives Manziel back to Texas A&M and the college football industry while also making the NCAA look like an equal partner in the final resolution.
I don;t know what that is, because I'm not sure that a one game suspension solves the issues for the NCAA. I'm not sure Team Manziel will be agreeable to ANY suspension now that it looks like some of the brokers used to push this story have shown their own warts and don't look like credible "witnesses".
So for me, the only issue is what is the path of exit for the NCAA that doesn't make them look weak. I'm sure the lawyers will craft some "compromise" that is agreeable to all parties, and we will still get what we want....Alabama vs. Texas A&M with Johnny Manziel leading the Aggie offense.