Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel will make his Southeastern Conference media days debut on Wednesday.
That actually was announced several days ago, but Aggies athletic officials had to reaffirm the appearance Sunday after the reigning Heisman Trophy winner made an early departure from the Manning Passing Academy at Nicholls State University in Louisiana. There were several Internet reports stating Manziel got intoxicated Friday night and missed his practice assignments and meetings on Saturday morning, which resulted in Archie Manning sending him home that afternoon.
The Manning Passing Academy, which is in its 18th year and includes Peyton and Eli Manning, released a statement Sunday to quell the speculation.
"Johnny Manziel did participate in some activities in the 2013 Manning Passing Academy as a college counselor/coach," the academy stated. "After missing and being late for practice assignments, Johnny explained that he had been feeling ill. Consequently, we agreed that it was in everyone's best interest for him to go home a day early."
There were several Twitter reports Saturday night referencing Manziel partying after his return to Texas A&M.
Paul Manziel told the Dallas Morning News on Sunday that his son left the camp due to dehydration, and Peyton Manning came to the redshirt sophomore's defense Sunday in an interview with ESPN's Chris Mortensen.
"I enjoyed meeting Johnny," Manning said. "I can remember a 20-year-old Eli missing a meeting and catching some flak. We always have counselors who leave early. Johnny was great with the campers for the time he was here. He had to leave early.
"I wish him the best, and I want him to come back as a counselor next year."
Manziel, who had been a Manning Passing Academy camper twice in high school and was in his first year as a counselor, is certain to face his share of scrutiny at media days. Since leading the Aggies to an 11-2 record and a Cotton Bowl rout of Oklahoma, he has been photographed holding cash and liquor and last month tweeted "I can't wait to leave College Station" after receiving a parking ticket.
Contact David Paschall at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6524.
David Paschall is a sports writer for the Times Free Press. He started at the Chattanooga Free Press in 1990 and was part of the Times Free Press when the paper started in 1999. David covers University of Georgia football, as well as SEC football recruiting, SEC basketball, Chattanooga Lookouts baseball and other sports stories. He is a Chattanooga native and graduate of the Baylor School and Auburn University. David has received numerous honors for ...