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Johnny Manziel won’t start against Rice Saturday. Texas A&M’s electrifying quarterback will be suspended, but it will only be for the first half, according to Billy Luicci of TexAgs.com.

The first-half suspension means he won’t be found guilty of accepting money for autographs, and the NCAA even acknowledges he did not accept money. This officially closes the book on the Manziel saga.

Related: Why Johnny Rock Star is ready for his encore

With respect to the first half suspension, it appears that Manziel’s violation could be a minor one. NCAA Bylaw 12.5.2.2. basically states if the student-athlete’s name is used to promote a product, then the student athlete must take steps to stop the activity. So, even if Manziel didn’t get paid, he could have been found to have broken a rule, hence a suspension.

Freshman Kenny Hill will likely get the first-half start, as the freshman has taken the most backup snaps in practice.

Let the Alabama-Texas A&M countdown begin.

Update from NCAA release

Texas A&M University and the NCAA confirmed today that there is no evidence that quarterback Johnny Manziel received money in exchange for autographs, based on currently available information and statements by Manziel. Due to an inadvertent violation regarding the signing of certain autographs, Texas A&M declared Manziel ineligible and submitted the following conditions for reinstatement to the NCAA:

  • A one-half game suspension for Manziel
  • Manziel will address the team regarding the situation and lessons learned
  • Texas A&M will revise its future education concerning student-athlete autographs for individuals with multiple items

Photo Credit: Thomas Campbell