Former college football star Johnny Manziel predicts NCAA’s demise: ‘It’s only a matter of time’

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Johnny Manziel was one of the most popular college football players of his era. He threw for 7,820 yards during his two-year stint as the starting quarterback at Texas A&M. He was named the Heisman Trophy winner in 2012, becoming the first freshman to earn the accolade.

Manziel became a household name and brought unprecedented attention and revenue to Texas A&M, but his rise to stardom was also riddled with controversy. He got caught in the NCAA’s crosshairs when an investigation targeted Manziel’s possible autograph scheme. His childhood friend, Nate Fitch, was believed to be the mastermind behind the autographs-for-cash venture.

Given Manziel’s history with the NCAA, it did not come as a complete surprise when he shared a rather ominous prediction on the organization’s future. 

“F–k the NCAA,” Manziel said on a recent appearance on the Action Network’s “The Favorites” podcast. “They deserve everything they have coming to them.”

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Johnny Manziel in February 2024

“It’s only a matter of time before we see the demise of the NCAA forever,” says former college football star Johnny Manziel. (Michael Starghill/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

Manziel also suggested that he would enjoy witnessing what he believes will be the eventual “demise of the NCAA.”

“It’s only a matter of time before we see the demise of the NCAA forever,” Manziel said. “I’ll be sitting here with a bucket of popcorn and my Heisman trophy right next to me, waiting for the day I see that alert.”

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While the advent of name, image and likeness (NIL) has certainly significantly shifted the landscape of college athletes, it remains unclear how it will ultimately impact the overall structure of the NCAA.

Johnny Manziel at Texas A&M game

Johnny Manziel looks on during the first half of the game between Texas A&M and Louisiana Monroe on Sept. 16, 2023, in College Station, Texas. (Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

Manziel raised eyebrows more than a decade ago when he began flashing large sums of cash at parties with music stars like Drake and NBA greats such as LeBron James. He also developed a reputation for crisscrossing the country on private planes. 

College athletes were not allowed to profit off their name, image or likeness at the time, so the NCAA eventually launched an investigation into Manziel’s possible autograph scheme.

In 2021, he told Barstool Sports that someone approached him and offered him the opportunity to make a few thousand dollars.

“We’re doing it all sneaky, we don’t want to get caught, we’re trying to learn from everybody else who’s got caught,” Manziel said. “And I may or may not have gone back to this guy’s condo and signed probably 10,000 pieces. He gave me three grand.”

Johnny Manziel in the FCFL

Johnny Manziel of the Zappers throws against the Glacier Boyz during a Fan Controlled Football game at Infinite Energy Arena in Duluth, Georgia, on Feb. 20, 2021. (Kevin C. Cox/Fan Controlled Football/Getty Images)

Manziel also took aim at the NCAA over its decision to vacate Reggie Bush’s Heisman Trophy. Earlier this year, Manziel threatened to skip future trophy ceremonies.

“After careful thought and consideration I will be humbly removing myself from the Heisman trophy ceremony until @ReggieBush gets his trophy back,” Manziel posted on X on March 2. “Doesn’t sit right with my morals and values that he can’t be on that stage with us every year. Reggie IS the Heisman trophy. Do the RIGHT thing @NCAA the ball is in your court.”

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Manziel landed in the No. 13 spot on ESPN’s “Top 75 quarterbacks of the 2000s.”

The Cleveland Browns drafted Manziel in the first round, but he flamed out after just two seasons. In the Netflix documentary “Untold: Johnny Football,” Manziel opened up about his struggles with addiction. He said his drug use after his final season in Cleveland resulted in him losing 40 pounds over a nine-month span.

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