A&M suspends Manziel for first half of Rice game

A&M suspends Manziel for first half of Rice game

Credit: Getty Images

COLLEGE STATION, TX - APRIL 13: Texas A&M Aggies quarterback Johnny Manziel #2 waits near the bench during the Maroon & White spring football game at Kyle Field on April 13, 2013 in College Station, Texas. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

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KHOU and WFAA

Posted on August 28, 2013 at 4:06 PM

Updated Wednesday, Aug 28 at 4:28 PM

Johnny Football will have to wait one half of one game to get his 2013 season started.

Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel will be "ineligible" for the first half of the Aggies' opener against Rice on Saturday, the university and the NCAA confirmed Wednesday in the wake of questions about whether Manziel had been paid for his autographs.

Manziel, the first freshman and second Aggie to win the Heisman Trophy, has spent the offseason practicing like he would be the starter this season.

He met with the NCAA on Sunday to discuss his alleged involvement in accepting money for his signature.

In a joint statement, the NCAA and Texas A&M said there is no evidence that Manziel received cash for penmanship. The university said the half-game suspension is "due to an inadvertent violation regarding the signing of certain autographs."

The NCAA said further action against Manziel is possible "if additional information comes to light."

"I am proud of the way both Coach Sumlin and Johnny handled this situation, with integrity and honesty," said A&M System Chancellor John Sharp said in a written statement. "We all take the Aggie Code of Honor very seriously and there is no evidence that either the university or Johnny violated that code.”

Last week, A&M System Chancellor John Sharp said he is certain the Heisman winner was not guilty of taking money for autographs.

In an e-mail newsletter earlier Wednesday, Sharp criticized ESPN and people who "have chosen to declare # 2 guilty with no evidence whatsoever."

Head Coach Kevin Sumlin has stopped addressing Manziel's off-field issues, deferring to the athletics department, which has similarly stayed quiet. Lawyers were hired by the university and Manziel's family to look into the allegations.

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