Texas A&M chancellor goes on offensive backing Manziel
While neither Texas A&M nor the NCAA is talking about the Johnny Manziel investigation, Texas A&M University System chancellor John Sharp is doing plenty of talking.
Sharp sent an e-mail to community and business leaders lauding Manziel and taking shots at those who broke the allegations that the Heisman Trophy winner was paid for his signatures.
A spokesman for the school did not comment on the Sharp e-mail.
“Some members of the media have chosen to declare #2 guilty with no evidence whatever,” Chancellor wrote in the e-mail obtained by the Austin American-Statesman.
Sharp then started naming names.
“Darren Rovell of ESPN, who broke this story, has been duped before,” the e-mail read. “During his report on Johnny Manziel, he cites unnamed sources who refuse to provide an interview or any tangible proof.”
In addition to taking Rovell to task, Sharp also took jabs at Drew Tieman, the autograph broker who was part of the original ESPN Outside the Lines story that started the autograph saga.
Sharp wrote that Tieman was reportedly booked twice for marijuana possession and placed on probation. He also noted that Tieman has taken down his Facebook page, changed his phone number and has refused to talk to the NCAA.
The e-mail continues a recent positive public-relations campaign that’s been spearheaded by Sharp.
Last week when he was in Fort Worth, Sharp told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that Manziel was a good, honest kid.
“He has his heart in the right place,” he was quoted as saying in the paper. “My mother wishes I was as nice a kid as Johnny when I was a sophomore in college.”
He defended that statement in the e-mail and while there’s been no update on the investigation, Chancellor sounded positive.
“While I did confirm that it was a personal view (his opinion of Manziel), my motivation was based on the fact we have had ongoing and productive dialogue with the NCAA during the investigation, as required,” he wrote.
Manziel, who was curiously picked as the second team preseason all-Southeastern Conference quarterback by the league coaches Thursday, continues to practice with the team.
Texas A&M opens its season Aug. 31 against Rice.