(USA Today Sports Images)Johnny Manziel is the big man on campus at Texas A&M, except for the fact that he's never really on campus.
Manziel met with reporters before a Davey O'Brien Award dinner, and Brent Zwerneman, the Aggies beat writer for the San Antonio Express-News and Houston Chronicle, tweeted out a couple of interesting tidbits from Texas A&M's quarterback about his classwork this semester.
Most notably, his education is all coming online.
Manziel told us he's taking all online classes this semester. #mysa
— Brent Zwerneman (@BrentZwerneman) February 18, 2013
We're not suggesting any of this is afoul with NCAA rules; Texas A&M obviously knows of Manziel's online classes and wouldn't mess around with the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner's eligibility. But it's just a little weird. After all, it doesn't seem normal that Cam Newton, the 2010 Heisman Trophy winner who has two NFL seasons under his belt, is spending more time on Auburn's campus this semester than last season's Heisman winner who will be playing college ball in the fall is spending at Texas A&M. But, since the school apparently has no problem with it (and online classes aren't exactly new ground or anything), it seems there's nothing more to the story other than it being a bit unusual.
There's probably good reason for Manziel to take online classes. And Texas A&M is proud of its online schooling. Manziel has to be a major celebrity at Texas A&M already (one other nugget from Zwerneman is that Manziel said he'll look at all his NFL options after the season), and he probably deals with many distractions when he is on campus.
In the Express-News, Zwerneman wrote that Manziel signed up for an on-campus English class, but quickly saw he was the center of attention.
“I went one day — it was a small class of 20 or 25 — and it kind of turned into more of a big deal than I thought,” Manziel told the paper. “The (athletic department) did a good job of saying, 'Let us know if you need anything and we'll figure it all out,' but (by then) I had all online classes, so we didn't need that.”
Still, this probably won't be promoted by the NCAA, which tries to pass off the notion of "student-athlete" as its highest profile athlete isn't living the normal student life, at least for this semester.
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