1. Johnny Football ½ Game Suspension: The NCAA quickly got around to investigating whether Johnny Football was paid for the thousands of autographs he (allegedly) signed for a handful of individuals. The NCAA spent six hours questioning Mr. Football on Sunday. How many different ways can you ask “Were you paid for your autograph?” Evidently, there are enough variations to take up 6 hours of questioning. If I were NCAA for a day, I would have one question: “if you weren’t paid, why did you (allegedly) sign thousands of autographs for person X?” Seriously, athletes sign autographs all the time out of the goodness of their heart. It’s the right thing to do. That being said, I have never seen a college athlete sign numerous autographs for select individuals…in that person’s hotel room…with him videotaping a proof of signature. That being said, the cloud hanging over Mr. Football and Texas A&M has already dissipated as the NCAA determined “based on currently available information and statements by Manziel,” “there is no evidence that he received money in exchange for autographs”. In any event, A&M handed Johnny Football a ½ game suspension. ESPN has reported that “[t]he agreement between the NCAA and Texas A&M closes the book on Manziel’s recent issues”.
How does a ½ game suspension make sense? Either Manziel accepted money for his signature, thus violating his amateur status and making him ineligible (period) or he didn’t accept money, meaning he should be free to play. Just for fun, let’s compare Manziel’s discipline to the punishment Miami Hurricane players faced to start the 2011 season. When Miami Players were determined to have received $140-$400 in benefits, Jacory Harris, Travis Benjamin, Sean Spence, Marcus Forston, and Adewale Ojomo were all suspended for an entire game. Ray-Ray and Dye were suspended 4 games for receiving upwards of $788 in benefits. Vernon was suspended 6 games for roughly $1200 in benefits. SMH – Try to not think about it. In other news, it has been 75 days since the NCAA Committee on Infractions concluded its hearing on the Miami case. We’re still waiting…
2. Call an Ace an Ace: University of Florida’s Antonio Morrison was suspended earlier this year after he was arrested twice – once for allegedly punching a bouncer at a Gainesville bar (misdemeanor battery, June), and once for barking at an on duty police dog (misdemeanor interference with a police dog and resisting arrest, July). The barking arrest has garnered attention, because let’s face it, who gets arrested for barking at a police dog – then again, what type of person would actually bark at a police dog? In any event, for his actions, Morrison was suspended “indefinitely” from the football program, with the understanding that he would miss “at least” two games. That suspension was edited down to, at most, two games, meaning Florida would be without Morrison against the powerhouse that is Toledo, and Miami. At this week’s press conference, Muschamp confirmed that Morrison will only be suspended for the opener against Toledo. Muschamp explained: “I just don’t feel like [Morrison’s] actions warranted a two-game suspension…. He’s very remorseful about the whole situation, and we’ve moved forward.” Seriously? Call an Ace an Ace. Admit it – your linebacking core is depleted. Your can’t afford to play a freshman linebacker (Alex Anzalone) against the Canes when you have a perfectly able starter on the bench – So you put your potential team record above the discipline of a player. As a Canes fan, I could care less who Florida puts on the field. I would prefer to beat them with no excuses. Just don’t insult my intelligence with the reason for the 180 degree turnaround on the suspension.
3. Its FINALLY Game Week: Happy FAU Week #CanesFam! It has been 279 days since we last saw our beloved Canes take the field (Duke, November 24, 2012), but who’s counting? Kickoff against FAU is set for 8:00 p.m., and parking lot gates will open at 4:00 on Friday (3:00 for Green Lot pass holders). The Hurricane Walk will take place at 6:00 p.m. Get out of work early, call in sick, cancel your meeting, use whatever excuse you need to get to get to this game and tailgate. After all, this is the tailgating “dress rehearsal” for the University of Florida. Grill not working? Best to find out now, before trying to grill up some gator tail next week. For those of you who need a tailgating refresher course (or just want to make sure you don’t forget an essential tailgating item), check out our Tailgating Basics Bag List. See you on Friday!