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Manziel feel like rock star

The SportsXchange

Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel is feeling like a rock star these days. At least that is what he compared himself with on Wednesday at the Southeastern Conference Media Days in Hoover, Ala.

"The spotlight is 10 times brighter and 10 times hotter than I thought it was two months ago," Manziel said. "I guess I feel like Justin Beiber or something. I never thought it would really be that way."

The Texas A&M quarterback, accompanied by school officials, had cameras in his face as he arrrived for interview sessions with the media.

One of the first questions he dealt with the reason for leaving the Manning Passing Camp last weekend. Manziel said he overslept for a meeting after his cellphone battery died. Camp officials reported that he was ill.

Pressed on whether he was hung over, Manziel responded, "Absolutely not," but he stopped short of saying whether or not he drank alcohol. However, a photo appeared on Twitter with Manziel and Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron at a bar near Nichols State University.

Manziel did say he was sorry.

"There's no excuse for it. Absolutely my fault," Manziel said.

Since he became the first freshman to win the Heisman, he has faced public scrutiny for everything from his comments on social media, his vacations and his online classes to avoid fellow students. And on Monday, he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge stemming from an altercation last summer.

"I feel like, to be honest, I haven't done anything criminal this offseason," he said. "I haven't done anything like that. I've made my mistakes. I'm still growing up. I'm still learning from that.

"At the end of the day, I'm going to continue to make mistakes and the big thing for me is to learn from them and not make the same one twice."

Manziel, a 20-year-old redshirt sophomore, expressed his regret to A&M coach Kevin Sumlin for bringing negative attention to the program.

"I told him I felt like the deal really got blown out of proportion, and I'm sorry for that, for the way it was spun and the way it was taken out of context," Manziel said. "I never meant to make A&M look bad, or especially him. Me and coach Sumlin have such a special relationship and I never would have wanted to upset him."

---The composition of the selection committee for the new College Football Playoff has been the subject of considerable speculation for the past few months, but it could be starting to take shape.

According to The Sporting News, athletic directors from the five power conferences will serve on the committee as well as former players and coaches and possibly former media members. If true, that would be a reversal in position from May when CFP executive director Bill Hancock indicated that ADs would not be involved.

The exact number of members from the various groups or how often the group would meet have yet to be determined, TSN reported. To avoid conflicts of interest, ADs would leave the room if their school was being discussed by the committee.

There also is no indication of how rankings or a poll of the top teams in the standings will be handled. The current polls will not be used as part of the equation to select the four qualifiers for the playoff.

The new format begins with the 2014 season.

---Colorado hired Rick George for its vacant athletic director position, the school announced Wednesday.

George, who is president of business operations for the Texas Rangers, is returning to Colorado after serving as an assistant AD for football operations from 1987 to 1991. He start his new job on Aug. 12.

George replaces Mike Bohn, who was forced to resign in May.

"I am delighted that Rick has accepted our offer to lead our athletic department," Colorado chancellor Phillip P. DiStefano said in a statement. "Rick's financial and management acumen, his networking and relationship development skills, and his enthusiasm, work ethic and principled leadership all make him the ideal leader for CU athletics at this important and challenging moment in our history."

Colorado's athletic department has struggled financially and the football program has not had a winning season since 2005, free-falling to a 1-11 record in 2012.

George joined the Rangers in 2010 after working as an executive for the PGA Tour. He has additional college experience at Illinois and Vanderbilt

"I am honored to be selected as director of intercollegiate athletics at CU-Boulder," George said. "CU is a special place for my family and me, and this is a marvelous opportunity at a great university in the best collegiate athletic conference in the country. I am looking forward to getting back to CU to begin working at this great institution."

---The NCAA announced Wednesday that it will not renew its licensing contract for the popular college football video game with EA Sports.

The contract expires in June, making NCAA Football 2014 the last game to be produced with the current name.

The NCAA's decision undoubtedly was prompted by the Ed O'Bannon lawsuit, which could force college athletic programs to split television revenue with the players.

"Our timing is based on the need to provide EA notice for future planning," the NCAA said in a statement. "As a result, the NCAA Football 2014 video game will be the last to include the NCAA's name and logo.

"We are confident in our legal position regarding the use of our trademarks in video games. But given the current business climate and costs of litigation, we determined participating in this game is not in the best interests of the NCAA."

There is a possibility that the game could continue under a different name. The NCAA statement appears to leave decisions regarding trademarks and licenses in the hands of the schools and conferences.

"The NCAA has never licensed the use of current student-athlete names, images or likenesses to EA," the statement read. "The NCAA has no involvement in licenses between EA and former student-athletes. Member colleges and universities license their own trademarks and other intellectual property for the video game. They will have to independently decide whether to continue those business arrangements in the future."
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