Step by step, Johnny Football is changing the face of college football. Just a week ago, it was announced that he would no longer be attending classes, but would take them all online, thus not having to face the legion of fans that beg for his autograph or a picture every time he steps on campus.
Two points are interesting about this. First, Texas A&M must have been desperate for a star. He won the Heisman as a freshman, which is quite an achievement, but thrusting him to George Clooney like stardom, seems a bit ridiculous. He is a college kid with a gift for dodging tackles. He is a long way from proving that he is anything akin to Tom Brady.
Second, he will be the first in what I'm sure will be a long line of college players who no longer have to go to class. Remember the good old days when college football players just skipped class and ran laps. This feels like a major first step in separating the college athlete from the actual college, and if you are against turning college football into a three year NFL combine, you should be opposed to this.
Now, if that is not enough, the NCAA has ruled that Manziel can sue to protect the name "Johnny Football." (I hope I don't get sued for writing that name.) Originally the NCAA said that he could protect his interest through the lawsuit, but as a college athlete could not profit. Well, it seems, according to recent reports by ESPN.com, that the ruling has changed. The report states that the NCAA has notified A&M that a student athlete can keep any payments that are a result of legal action.
As much as I would like to take credit for seeing the loophole in this problem, I must give credit to Clay Travis of outkickthecoverage.com. His thoughts are that this is an easy way for a college kid to make money.
"What's to keep a bunch of Texas A&M boosters from intentionally infringing on Manziel's trademark, being sued for doing so, and then settling out of court for hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal payments to Manziel?" Travis wrote.
This poses a very interesting question, and quite a potential problem. With the heavy push towards separating the college student from the college athlete, both of these recent Manziel moves seem to be steering the wheel straight in that direction.
There is a looming playoff system, the desire to pay college football players, the question of Jadaveon Clowney's need to play a third year of college football, and the threat of an NCAA collapse, or at least a separation of the major conferences from their governing body. We are on the verge of seeing the college football game change drastically,. It's a feeling that's been in the air for quite some time, and it is rapidly beginning to take shape.