Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel declined to say whether he was drinking alcohol over the weekend at the Manning Passing Academy, but he says the reason he left the camp early was “absolutely not” because he was hungover.
In an interview on SportsCenter, Manziel was asked directly if he was drinking alcohol during his time at the camp, and he answered, “I’m not going into details about what happened at the Manning camp. We had social events every night.”
Manziel said his early departure from the Manning camp was a “mutual decision” between himself and the Manning Passing Academy organizers, and he said that Peyton Manning and Eli Manning did not tell him to leave early. He did not say whether Archie Manning told him to leave early, but he did acknowledge that he overslept and missed a morning meeting.
“I made a mistake and didn’t wake up in time when I should have, and that’s pretty much the end of that,” Manziel said. “Missing the meeting wasn’t anything due to the night prior. It wasn’t anything involved in that. It was just simply my phone died, I overslept, I woke up the next morning whenever I did, went and talked to them and it was kind of a mutual decision to get home and get some time to relax.”
Manziel has earned a reputation for hard partying during his college career, and that reputation may affect his stock in the 2014 NFL draft, which Manziel is expected to enter. Manziel said he’s not going to apologize for the way he lives his life.
“I’m still 20 years old, I’m still a sophomore in college, I’m still going to do things that everybody in college does and I’m going to continue to enjoy my life. Hopefully people don’t hold me to a higher standard than that,” Manziel said.
Manziel is under the legal drinking age, but most college students drink before they turn 21, and Manziel is entitled to live his life however he wants. At the same time, NFL teams are entitled to decide that if they’re going to spend a high draft pick on a franchise quarterback, they want it to be a straight arrow like Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III, and not a guy who oversleeps, misses meetings, declines to say if he was drinking the night before, gets in trouble in connection with bar fights, and generally seems like he has a lot of growing up to do.