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Dr. Saturday

Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin explains how he helped fight Manziel suspension

Dr. Saturday

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(Soobum Im/USA TODAY Sports)

Last week Texas Monthly provided details on how Johnny Manziel’s magical 2012 season almost didn’t happen. Today, we have more details from Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin about how he kept Manziel in uniform.

In an interview with, Sumlin discussed how he went to bat for Manziel over a suspension that would have cost him the entire football season. He wrote a letter and provided internal checks for the redshirt freshman quarterback:

Sumlin, in Edmond for the Scott Verplank Foundation Tournament on Monday afternoon, speaking for the first time about the report, said his backing of Manziel wasn't because of the freshman's explosive talent, but rather a belief that the young quarterback already had and would continue to comply with strict internal punishment.

“A lot has been said about discipline, but he went through all that, which is a little bit more than people think,” Sumlin said. “That's not a public deal, it's just what I ask him to do. He did all those things and his parents were involved in all of that. So for him to go through that, then go through camp and those types of things and earn the job, that's what's brought him to where he is now.”

Manziel faced discipline from Texas A&M following a July 2012 arrest when he was charged with disorderly conduct, failure to identify and possessing a fake ID. Texas Monthly provided details of Manziel’s punishment:

According to Johnny and his parents, on August 6, two days after Fall Camp had started for the Texas A&M football team, Johnny Manziel appeared before a 3-person panel which reviewed his case, interviewed him, then decided that he would be given a university sanction known as "Conduct Probation." This meant that Johnny could not represent the school for a semester, which meant that he could not play sports. It meant that he would miss the entire football season.

Manziel, with the assistance of his parents, coaches and other A&M sports officials mounted a successful appeal that got his punishment reduced to probation, allowing him to play. Manziel and his family said he likely would have transferred to a junior college if A&M’s suspension had been upheld. With the suspension lifted, Manziel returned to camp and beat out junior Jameill Showers to become starting quarterback.

Manziel has had an occasionally tumultuous offseason in the Heisman spotlight, but I would guess Sumlin is still very happy the appeal worked and he retained the services of his star quarterback.

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