Texas A&M’s Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback, Johnny Manziel showed up with courtside seats to Dec. 20’s Miami Heat vs. Dallas Mavericks NBA matchup.
That’s the latest stop for college football’s top player from 2012. He’s been all over the place since winning the award.
Front-row seats to an NBA game, though, are no perk that comes with the territory of winning a college football award.
That led to speculation by TNT analyst Steve Kerr:
“How does a college kid get courtside seats to a Mavs game? Those are expensive seats,” Kerr said during the game, according to Graham Watson of Yahoo! Sports. “I’m just going to throw that out here.”
Kerr’s speculation may have carried heavy connotations concerning possible foul play, but it wasn’t malicious towards Manziel. He was simply pointing out something that many probably wondered, something that the NCAA should be aware of.
Manziel tweeted during the game after receiving massive amounts of national attention about his whereabouts. This is what he had to say:
Bought myself a little birthday present tonight stop hating! #HEATvsMAVS— Johnny Manziel (@JManziel2) December 21, 2012
TNT’s Craig Sager conveyed that message to fans late during the game, according to Sporting News:
So he has a birthday present that he purchased the ticket to come to the game, get the best seats he could possibly buy, and he is here to watch LeBron James. He practiced today in College Station getting ready for the Cotton Bowl, two and a half hour drive. He will be back at practice tomorrow; everything is legit.
From the look of things, everything is legit. However, Manziel also sat front row during the Houston Rockets and Philadelphia 76ers matchup in Houston, according to SportsTalk 790 AM (h/t Dallas Morning News).
He took the following photo with James Harden in the Rockets’ locker room following the game:
If everything checks out and it turns out to be nothing and Manziel purchased the tickets himself, then there is no issue.
Kerr never explicitly said the tickets were earned through illicit activity but simply brought up a relevant point. The NCAA has always come down hard after the fact when violations come about.
Stopping them in their tracks and helping young athletes understand the rules and their implementation can be a key for the organization moving forward.
While it appears Manziel did nothing wrong in this instance, there is still the possibility of foul play and some room for concern.
The league could still use this as a training point for its officials and for its student athletes.
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