Less than a week ago it couldn't have looked much worse for Johnny Manziel and the Texas A&M season. ESPN was looping coverage of his alleged NCAA violations and the confidence of their investigative reporters appeared high.
Even Vegas reacted by lowering the TAMU win total by 3 games and offering a prop bet that paid 5 to 1 on bets that he would play this year, huge odds against him.
Fast forward to today..
Now that the ESPN dust has settled, we now know that the only facts are that TAMU and the Manziels have retained legal counsel and presently the NCAA isn't even investigating Johnny Manziel.
Since the ESPN story broke there has been considerable dialogue around the NCAAs rules and they are losing soundly in the court of public opinion. Couple the overwhelming negative sentiment with the nearly impossible task of proving payment and the NCAA will have a PR nightmare on their hands. If the NCAA is smart (which history has proved otherwise) they will verify the lack of an investigation and announce that they will be reviewing this antiquated and hypocritical rule.
ESPN also has a mess to clean up, this is making Joe Schad look like a desperate journalist who needed a lot of creativity to buy himself some airtime. Sure, the NCAA may launch an investigation tomorrow, but that would not excuse the days of reporting that there is an ongoing investigation. This also makes you wonder why ESPN would choose not to buy the alleged video of Manziel, are they trying to suggest that they are suddenly too classy to buy a video from someone trying to make a buck? Seems doubtful.
Obviously there is still more speculation than facts, but given the newly raised questions about the integrity of the reporting, the present weakness of the NCAA and the legal team ready to fight for Manziel's eligibility I fully expect to see #2 under center on Aug. 31st.