On Tuesday, Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant offered a strong take on Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, whom the NCAA is investigating in connection with autograph-signing-for-cash allegations.
The overall tenor of Bryant’s remarks was clear: the NCAA, not Manziel, is the problem.
“He should be able to sign as many autographs and make as much money as he wants, because it’s his name,” Bryant said, per Clarence Hill of the Star-Telegram. “I feel like he’s the one who created it. He should be able to do whatever he feels as long as it’s legal and I don’t think there’s anything illegal about signing a picture of yourself and making money off himself.
“Shoot, the NCAA is making money off of it when they’re selling those No. 2 shirts. Why can’t he make a little bit of money off of it?”
Bryant has every reason to have no use for the NCAA. Four years ago, collegiate sports’ governing body kept off the field for most of his junior season at Oklahoma State after he lied about his relationship with Deion Sanders.
Bryant, during his remarks Tuesday, said he would be “mad” if Manziel merited a suspension in the NCAA’s eyes but did not receive one, per the Star-Telegram.
But that’s just part of the story. Overall, Bryant seemed sympathetic to Manziel.
And clearly, Bryant hasn’t forgiven the NCAA.
“I don’t want anything to happen to Manziel, I promise,” Bryant said, per the Star-Telegram. “I don’t want anything. I just want them to know what they’re doing is not right. That’s all they need to know and they need to understand that. Seriously. They really do.”