SPORTS

Johnny Manziel suspended for first half of Texas A&M season opener

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(AP/ABC7) The 2012 Heisman Trophy winner will spend the first part of the season on the bench.

Manziel has been accused of being paid thousands of dollars for autographs. Photo: Associated Press

ESPN and other media outlets are reporting that Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel has been suspended for the first half of the Aggies' Saturday season opener against the Rice Owls.

Both the school and the NCAA agreed to the brief ban, which stems from allegations that he took tens of thousands of dollars in exchange for autographing thousands of items.

It has been widely reported that Manziel, the first and only freshman to ever win college football's highest individual prize, was paid for signing more than 4,000 items at multiple events earlier this year.

ESPN, citing an anonymous source, reported that Manziel met with NCAA investigators over the weekend. CBSSports.com, also citing anonymous sources, reported that Manziel told the investigators he didn't take money for his autograph.

While Sumlin wouldn't discuss Manziel's availability for Week 1, he had no problem talking about whether football has helped the quarterback deal with everything going on off the field.

"I know he likes to play football," Sumlin said. "I think the structure that he has had since Aug. 4 has been nothing but helpful."

If Manziel doesn't play against the Owls, the Aggies will use either junior Matt Joeckel or freshman Kenny Hill. Joeckel is more of a pocket passer and Hill is a dual-threat quarterback.

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