Lots has been said about what is wrong with college athletics. Is it the money? Is it the NCAA’s inability to control the conferences and schools? Certainly those are big reasons. Here’s a bigger one:
Johnny ‘Football’ Manziel is the BMOC at Texas A&M. The first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy. The guy is a living legend. However, he has consistently shown an disdain for playing by the rules. Whether it be trouble with the law or trouble with his mouth, Manziel is becoming a major PR headache for Texas A&M and the NCAA. He could potential be the poster child for all that is right with amateur athletics. His performance on the field is free-flowing. He plays the game with every ounce of strength he has. His game is made for Sports Center and his pure joy on the field is contagious. But when the final whistle has blown, he becomes a tornado of controversy. He could be the proof of the joy of collegiate athletics. He has become something the NCAA and Texas A&M would like to sweep under the rug.
Peyton Manning. Tyler Hansborough. Tim Duncan. All shining examples of the joy of the collegiate experience. All three spurned leaving school early for the riches of professional athletics to stay in school for another year. They knew that their life on campus was something that was truly special and that they did not want to trade that time for money. These guys are what is good about amateur competition. Their stories are warming however not as interesting as Johnny Football. So while they get mentioned, they are quickly passed on for the more sensational, negative story.
What’s wrong with college athletics? The wrong players and programs are allowed to drag down the other 99% of instances which are extremely positive and inspiring. It’s time to do away with the dead weight. If Manziel cannot wait to be out of College Station, Texas A&M can make that wish come true. Do they have the cajones?