Texas A&M officials made it clear Monday that Johnny Manziel, the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner, remains the team’s starting quarterback but will have no further comment about his status during Tuesday’s news conference in College Station. A&M athletic director Eric Hyman released a statement Monday saying he had instructed coach Kevin Sumlin and players not to discuss Manziel during Tuesday’s news conference.
A&M opens its season Saturday against Rice and Manziel’s eligibility has been clouded by an NCAA investigation into allegations that he accepted money for signing memorabilia in violation of NCAA rules. A&M chancellor John Sharp, among others, has indicated he expects Manziel to play against Rice.
In Monday’s statement, Hyman said: “The focus of our coaches and student-athletes is solely on preparing for Rice this Saturday, and in the best interests of Texas A&M and the 100-plus student-athletes on the team, I have instructed Coach Sumlin, his staff and our student-athletes to refrain from commenting on or answering questions regarding the status of our starting quarterback, Johnny Manziel.”
_ Jimmy Burch