I have absolutely had it with anything and everything Johnny Manziel. But today may take the cake, and I'm not blaming him. ESPN is reporting that Manziel may have made money by using his own name.
Now, I'm not about to give you some deeply analytical ins and outs of the NCAA rules; we know what is "acceptable" in the NCAA's eyes...just about nothing, really. Instead, I'm going to give you a visceral knee-jerk reaction before any of the facts come out; careless, I know. But, to think that this young man could possibly face some pretty harsh punishment for using something that his parents gave to him is criminal in my mind. How is this even remotely right to deny someone the right...the RIGHT...to use his own name? Well, to be fair to the NCAA, they're not saying that Manziel CAN'T use his name; they're just saying he can't profit off of it. That's their job. The NCAA in its supposed wisdom feels that it is protecting something. Not that I had any question as to what they were actually trying to protect, but if this story is true, then this could signify the beginning of the end of the NCAA, not Johnny Football. Truly.
The other side of the NCAA profiting off of players' likenesses coin is the players themselves profiting off of what their own parents have given them. A name. Something these kids should be proud to have, and something they should be proud to pass down. To tell a young athlete that s/he should somehow be ashamed of that name, or that they don't have the right to use the name is...well, it's reprehensible. Given the enjoyment of the spotlight that Manziel has, would there be any surprise if he's the one to take the Ed O'Bannon suit much farther? Not in the least. In fact, I'm hoping he does. Be proud of your name, Johnny Manziel, it's yours; do with it what you will.
Shame on you, NCAA.
Not totally apropos, but...