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Johnny Manziel suspended half game

Texas A&M starting quarterback and defending Heisman Trophy-winner Johnny Manziel has been suspended for the first-half of the Aggies' season-opener against Rice noon Saturday at Kyle Field, per media reports.

QB Johnny Manziel

According to sources close to the situation, the suspension was the result of an agreement between Texas A&M and the NCAA in order to officially close the book on the offseason autograph scandal surrounding the 20-year-old.

NCAA investigators spent a majority of Sunday with Manziel, probing the quarterback regarding allegations of him taking monetary compensation for signing autographs over the course of the offseason, sources reported.

Head coach Kevin Sumlin and the Aggies will be forced to start the season with either junior Matt Joeckel or true freshman Kenny Hill under center before Manziel may take the field for the second-half against the Owls.

Official Release From Texas A&M

COLLEGE STATION, Texas—Texas A&M University and the NCAA confirmed today that there is no evidence that quarterback Johnny Manziel received money in exchange for autographs, based on currently available information and statements by Manziel. Due to an inadvertent violation regarding the signing of certain autographs, Texas A&M declared Manziel ineligible and submitted the following conditions for reinstatement to the NCAA:

• A one-half game suspension for Manziel

• Manziel will address the team regarding the situation and lessons learned

• Texas A&M will revise its future education concerning student-athlete autographs for individuals with multiple items

Based on the information submitted by the university, the NCAA accepted the conditions as put forward by Texas A&M. If additional information comes to light, the NCAA will review and consider if further action is appropriate.

NCAA rules are clear that student-athletes may not accept money for items they sign and based on information provided by Manziel, that did not happen in this case.

Statement from Texas A&M University System Chancellor, John Sharp:

“I am proud of the way both Coach Sumlin and Johnny handled this situation, with integrity and honesty. We all take the Aggie Code of Honor very seriously and there is no evidence that either the university or Johnny violated that code.”

Statement from Texas A&M Director of Athletics Eric Hyman:

“Texas A&M University would like to thank the NCAA staff, not only for its fairness and professionalism throughout this process, but also for the expediency of its actions. Texas A&M is a proud member of the NCAA and the Southeastern Conference and, as such, we will continue to abide by the rules governing the association and the conference. Texas A&M is committed to competing with integrity and sportsmanship, and we will continue to ensure strict compliance guidelines for our student-athletes, coaches and supporters.”

Statement from NCAA Vice President of Academic and Membership Affairs Kevin Lennon

“Student-athletes are often asked for autographs from fans, but unfortunately, some individuals’ sole motivation in seeking an autograph is for resale. It is important that schools are cognizant and educate student-athletes about situations in which there is a strong likelihood that the autograph seeker plans to resell the items.”

Texas A&M and the NCAA will have no further comment on this matter.

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