IPPOLITO: NFL Should Suspend Manziel for Actions
The Water Cooler

What goes up must come down. Such is the law of gravity, and apparently, the career arc of former quarterback Johnny Manziel, who won the Heisman Trophy in 2012. While many teams and fans prepare for the upcoming draft or simply divert their attention to other sports, Manziel has constantly ensured that the spotlight is on him for all of the wrong reasons.

Many people are concerned about the former Texas A&M prodigy — and rightfully so — because before all else he is a person, not an athlete. If the NFL cares about him, it must officially suspend him because it has cause and it will be in his long-term best interest.

Just this month, Manziel was accused of getting into a hit-and-run car accident, trashing a multimillion-dollar house he rented for a weekend of partying in Los Angeles with “shrooms” and cocaine in plain sight, partied at Coachella with former and still suspended Cleveland Browns teammate Josh Gordon and was dropped by mega-agent Drew Rosenhouse and Nike.

And that is just this month. When he was still a player for the Cleveland Browns, he showed up late for training, was reportedly drunk in meetings and showed up drunk to a practice.

The NFL is not the comedy series “Blue Mountain State,” or at least it should not be. Commissioner of the NFL Roger Goodell has suspended and disciplined NFL players for far less severe things, and in this case, Goodell  has a more than legitimate reason to act.

Aside from the drinking and partying, Manziel was also accused of hitting and subsequently threatening to kill his now ex-girlfriend. While the case is soon going before a grand jury, the NFL should not tolerate these actions.

Manziel is innocent until proven guilty in the court of law, but there is absolutely no reason as to why the NFL should not suspend him until all of these legal or other matters are resolved. If facts proving Manziel’s innocence emerge, then the suspension can simply be terminated, just as if he were placed on administrative leave in any workplace setting.

More than anything, Manziel seems to need some sort of real-world discipline. It is largely unclear if he ever received it growing up, considering his family has had Texas oil money for generations and his family’s companies are worth millions of dollars. Plenty of fantastic NFL players and athletes as a whole have come from similar backgrounds, but with them, something clicked that just has not for Manziel.

Suspending Manziel does not necessarily require the cold shoulder treatment. His friends on other teams in the league — like fellow Texas A&M grad and Super Bowl 50 MVP Von Miller — and the NFL can still support him and offer him help with his personal life, but if Manziel is unwilling to take it, there is nothing the league and his friends can do. The NFL may as well divorce itself from him and avoid any guilt by association.

For about two months in 2015, Manziel did choose to enter some sort of treatment facility, but it is clear that he has ceded whatever progress he has made at that time. During his stint with the Browns, Manziel repeatedly vowed to own his mistakes and ensure that they would not happen again.

It may be too harsh to say that he lied, but he did not act on his words. In February of this year, his father Paul told media outlets that Manziel twice refused to enter rehab and that he was concerned his son would not live to see his 24th birthday.

Manziel, who said on Tuesday that he still hopes to play in the NFL in 2016, clearly needs help and refuses to acknowledge what is in his best interests — if he will not voluntarily enter rehab, the NFL must condition it or suspend him otherwise.

At this point, it is difficult to tell if Manziel is even trying. His recent actions suggest otherwise, and even if he is not suspended, there is little reason for an NFL team to spend the money and PR capital to sign him; no team needs a quarterback this bad. Even if one did, there are plenty of better veterans who are far less likely to end up on TMZ or the sixth page of the New York Post.

Manziel displayed promising talent, and there is undoubtedly plenty of blame to go around. But the person ultimately responsible for Manziel is himself. The privilege of playing in a grown man’s league requires one to be a grown man both physically and mentally. Unfortunately, Johnny is still a boy.

MichaelIppolito_SketchMichael Ippolito is a junior in the College. The Water Cooler appears every Friday.

Have a reaction to this article? Write a letter to the editor.

One Comment

  1. Will Fisher says:

    Dear Michael,

    I didn’t read your whole article. I stopped reading when I noticed that your facts were … well … Not facts.

    You don’t mention where you obtained your information (one certainly cannot call it research), and there were no sources listed that I could see. The problem is that without well-documented sources, we have no idea if your information that you have presented here is valid or not. In this case, many of the statements you made above were completely false. Example, Johnny Manziel never threatened to kill his girlfriend.

    So where did you get your information for the story? From other media sources? And where did they get their information? From a vague “report” that was actually from some two-bit sports analyst on Twitter? Perhaps TMZ? There are no named sources, so where is this information coming from? And if you can pinpoint the person that generated the so-called “report” are they reliable? Or are they just giving an opinion … like you are here? This sort of junk “journalism” is a travesty and an insult to professional journalists who take pride in writing with integrity.

    If you hope to pursue a career in journalism, or if you hope to be a professional of any sort, it is imperative that you dig deep when making pointed and harmful statements such as: “the NFL should suspend Manziel for actions”. That’s a rather over-the-top statement, don’t you think? Especially since it’s based on rumors and not actual facts. Hopefully you won’t be sued for defamation since you have published blatantly incorrect information on Manziel. How would you like it if someone did that to you? Would you care to be judged by the same standards that you have set forth for Johnny Manziel?

    The problem with so many people in America today is that they are fed a nonstop diet of soundbites and plastic videos that are crafted and created to do nothing more than to generate the highest levels of hype in order to sell advertising. And people buy into these nonsense “reports” without ever actually checking to see if there’s any validity to them. It seems that is clearly what has happened here.

    I ask you … What has Johnny Manziel done that is so wrong? And is there actual documentation on this wrong doing?

    There’s not any actual evidence that he is even an addict. The treatment center that he went to specializes in a variety of disorders, not just addiction. But again … Everyone ASSUMES they know what is going on, and they believe the soundbites instead of checking to see what the real story is. FYI, it has never been disclosed what Johnny Manziel went to treatment for. And drinking and partying is not against the law. (Oh and by, the way the reports of drugs in the house have not been validated.) Johnny Manziel may very well have a problem with drugs and alcohol, but it is assumed, not proven.

    He’s never been convicted of abusing his girlfriend … and there is much evidence to suggest that the girlfriend precipitated some of the abuse, while Manziel attempted to protect her from jumping out of a car. In our PC society we are disgustingly quick to point the finger and swiftly (and often incorrectly) judge the accused.

    The NFL reviewed the situation with Johnny Manziel’s ex-girlfriend, and Johnny was cleared of any wrongdoing. Maybe you didn’t hear that piece of the story? And in this most recent incident, it sounds like Ms. Crowley was also at least partially to blame for inciting the violence that ensued. The video presented at the grand jury even seems to indicate that Ms. Crowley was the one attacking Mr. Manziel. Time will tell.

    What I am getting at here is that you have cobbled your opinion piece on nothing but junk media, which you have bought into (hook, line and sinker). You totally goofed on some pretty big things, and that was just in the first half. You have not thoroughly researched the defamatory statements that you have published on Johnny Manziel. In fact, it appears you did no research whatsoever outside of gobbling up junk journalism from Facebook and Twitter.

    If publishing incorrect information isn’t enough, the hypocrisy put forth in your piece is astounding. You mentioned that Johnny Manziel is innocent until proven guilty, and then in the very next paragraph you suggest that the NFL must act now and punish him immediately! (again, for what?) You said: “there is absolutely no reason as to why the NFL should not suspend him until all of these legal matters are resolved.” Who died and made the NFL the world police? Does your employer suspend you if you get a speeding ticket? Does your employer get all up in your business? Maybe you don’t even have an employer, but can you imagine if that were the case? Oh, and by the way, this is (again) based on nothing more than allegations. So you’re suggesting that the NFL suspend this person (and in theory, others, since ‘what’s good for the goose is good for the gander’), and compromise their livelihoods when in reality there’s no proof in this case that Johnny Manziel has done *anything* wrong. Unless you believe everything that’s on the news media. And apparently you do. Maybe we should evaluate every Player throughout the National Football League to determine if they have any “issues” and then immediately suspend them as well. Sound ludicrous? Well that’s what you just suggested for Manziel, so everyone needs to be held to the same standard.

    You also said, “It is largely unclear if he ever received it [discipline] growing up, considering his family has had Texas oil money for generations and his family’s companies are worth millions of dollars … ” where did you get this information? You clearly did not research it. His great-great-grandfather had a successful oil field. But he also had several failed business ventures as well. And so did his kids. When we’re talking millions were talking one or two … And that was well over 60 years and three generations ago. Whatever is left of that largesse has undoubtably long since been spent, and it has not been handed down to the younger generations. Johnny did not grow up in that lifestyle. Since the age of seven he did not even grow up there at all. His father is a self-made man. Both of his parents worked hard, last I heard his dad was still working at a car lot. Manziel is not the stereotypical rich kid that everyone makes them out to be. Hard to believe? Why not research it?

    I’m also curious to know what “companies” the Manziels’ have that are worth millions of dollars. You might want to doublecheck that as well.

    Those are just a couple of things that stood out well glancing over this travesty of an opinion piece. Undoubtably there are other inaccuracies in your article as well.

    Michael, do your homework. Before you weigh in and proffer your incorrect opinion, dig in to the subject instead of making assumptions based on stuff you’ve heard the “news” and on Facebook. Because that is what has happened here. Not only have you published something with zero journalistic integrity, you have essentially set yourself up for defamation by being sloppy, doing absolutely no research, and pontificating on things that just simply are not true. YOU have said things about a person that are untrue. Does that make you a liar? You wrote: “It may be too harsh to say that he lied”? Sounds like the pot calling the kettle black.

    I would recommend that this article be pulled immediately until proper research has been done. And by the way, there is absolutely no reason as to why ‘The Hoya’ should not suspend Michael Ippolito until all of these matters are resolved. Sound familiar? It should, since you just wrote that same sentence about Manziel.

    It has been said that “the pen is mightier than the sword” … Be thoughtful and deliberate while wielding your pen. Please take a moment to get the details and facts of the situation correct. You owe it to your readers, your paper, your school, and to yourself.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>