Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Johnny Manziel: A Study In (Mis-)Handling Controversy

Posted By on Wed, Jul 17, 2013 at 4:16 PM

Ka'Deem Carey, let's hope you were watching ESPN this morning.

If so, Arizona's star running back would have seen how college football's top-tier superstar, Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, addressed the myriad of off-the-field issues he's run into since being the first-ever freshman to win the Heisman Trophy last season.

Or, depending on how you interpreted his 6 1/2-minute live interview during the SEC Media Day, managed to keep things murky despite saying a whole bunch.

Manziel, who has been a lightning rod of controversy since being named college football's top player in December, was reportedly made to leave an elite quarterback camp hosted by Peyton and Eli Manning over the weekend. Speculation has run rampant as to why this happened, leading many to suspect the underage (but supposedly notorious party hound) Manziel was kicked out because he was too hungover to participate.

According to Manziel, though, it was a mutual decision as a result of him missing a morning meeting because he "overslept" due to his phone (and, presumably, an alarm app) dying on him.

Suuuuuuuuure.

Manziel, dressed (!) nattily in a dark blue blazer, blue-and-white checked shirt and a (different shade of) blue-and-white striped tie, along with a sharp white pocket square, said "absolutely not" when asked by ESPN's Joe Tessitore if he was hungover. But then, when asked if he had drank alcohol the night before, the 20-year-old then quickly cut off that line of questioning by saying "I'm not going to go into details about what happened."

Translation: he was pleading the Fifth, because admitting to underage drinking on national television, in case you didn't know, wouldn't be good for one's image.

Nevertheless, I applaud Manziel for speaking publicly about everything that's happened with him in the last seven months. Though he still came off as a bit of a jerk — noting that he believes that, because of his Heisman win, he's on a higher pedestal than all other college players will do that — he still manned up.

Carey, who himself has had a scandalous offseason complete with allegations of domestic abuse (which have since been dismissed), traffic violations and an infamous "do you know who I am" incident that got him kicked out of McKale Center, has maintained media silence throughout. He's being held back from the Pac-12 Conference Media Day on July 26, and my guess is his widespread interview access during training camp will be quite limited.

If Carey does come forward to speak about the offseason, though, it might make sense for him to study Manziel's interview.

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