The Manning Passing Academy is an annual summer football camp held for high school football players. It is a four-day camp held in the Manning's homeland of Thibodaux, La. and brings in current and former college football and NFL players to help coach these campers.
Texas A&M's center-of-attention quarterback Johnny Manziel was one of the camp's many QB coaches, but he was the only one asked to leave. Originally believed to be sick, Manziel apparently overslept, missed meetings and was asked by Archie Manning himself to leave the camp, Saturday.
According to Rumors and Rants, "Our source, who wishes to remain anonymous because of his connection to the camp, gave us the scoop after Manziel showed up tardy Saturday afternoon after being out on the town Friday night. The Texas A&M star reportedly enjoyed himself a little too much Friday night and rolled back into the camp at Nicholls State University some time around noon Saturday before getting the boot."
Local Shreveport, La. radio reporter Patrick Netherton confirmed the report that Manziel was out late, showed up late to the camp and was asked to leave.
Manziel may have been feeling "sick," but it sounds more like a hangover from partying with Alabama QB A.J. McCarron. The Aggies quarterback didn't let the camp dismissal keep him down, though. He was spotted out late Saturday night in a popular College Station bar.
He is a typical college student, after all. But when Heisman winners and college football stars are held to such a high standard, any "typical college behavior" like this is seen by the NFL and potential future endorsers as "off-the-field issues." Also, it's probably not a great idea to show up late and hungover to a camp run by the Manning family. They have some pull in the NFL.
ESPN's NFL insider and Peyton Manning whisperer, Chris Mortensen, has refuted this story through a statement from a Manning Passing Academy spokesman and most likely a textual conversation with Peyton. Mortensen reported that officials at the Academy were "adamant" that the Internet reports concerning Manziel were inaccurate.
"Johnny Manziel did participate in some activities in the 2013 Manning Passing Academy as a college counselor/coach," the statement said, per ESPN. "After missing and being late for practice assignments, Johnny explained that he had been feeling ill. Consequently, we agreed that it was in everyone's best interest for him to go home a day early."
"I enjoyed meeting Johnny," said Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, per ESPN. "I can remember a 20-year-old Eli (Manning) missing a meeting and catching some flak. We always have counselors who leave early. Johnny was great with the campers for the time he was here. He had to leave early. I wish him the best and I want him to come back as a counselor next year."
Whatever the real story is, Johnny Manziel will have a fun time deflecting every question regarding his off-the-field issues at SEC Media Days on Wednesday.
In the age of the NFL where teams are more concerned with character and image than they are of results, it will be interesting to see what team risks a very high draft pick on a kid like Manziel, especially in a year that is flush with QBs.
His immaturity and obviously privileged attitude will be glaring red flags to a lot of teams, embarrassing elder statesmen like the Manning's is not a good way to get your career started. He's got a lot of growing up to do if he doesn't want to end up the Ryan Leaf of the 2014 draft.
If the NFL (and its fan base) were "more concerned with character and image than... results," then the gridiron would be filled with the young Mormon boys in white shirt and thin black ties who go door to door proselytizing the tenets of Joseph Smith and co..
There's no particular insight to claiming that a young man needs to grow up. That's what being young is: immature and therefore, not grown up. But what is there about going out with acquaintances and friends to drink beer and meet girls that is evidence of a "privileged attitude?" That's a story I suspect almost all of us can begin to tell in the first person, "Last night, I went out drinking..." And that's not privileged, that pedestrian.
Manziel is just a kid who had a summertime hangover. You can "cast stones" if you've never had one.
@nicodemusboffin @DFreshHookup Yeah, but in every state in the union, Manziel isn't old enough to drink, yet somehow the enablers continue to enable his behavior. And, the Mannings aren't off the hook either. They're enabling his behavior by denying anything was wrong with his behavior. That is, indeed, a privilege Manziel is enjoying!