The maturation of Johnny Football continues to be a labor-intensive process.
Our boots on the ground in Thibodaux, La. — believe it or not, we have them — informed us that Johnny Manziel was sent home from the Manning Passing Academy on Saturday afternoon by Archie Manning himself. Our source, who wishes to remain anonymous because of his connection to the camp, gave us the scoop after Manziel showed up tardy Saturday afternoon after being out on the town Friday night. The Texas A&M star reportedly enjoyed himself a little too much Friday night and rolled back into the camp at Nicholls State University some time around noon Saturday before getting the boot.
Manziel was supposed to participate in the “Air It Out” competition along with other top collegiate passers Saturday evening. He didn’t. Camp officials told local media that Manziel “is sick” and was no longer at the camp. But our source claims he was kicked out at the behest of Manning paterfamilias Archie.
Granted, if Manziel was hungover as hell, the official party line of being sick might not even qualify as a little white lie. But unless he mysteriously ate some bad etoufee, it appears this illness was brought about by some behavioral choices.
Our friends at Busted Coverage found some pictures of Manziel and Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron hanging out Thursday night with Peyton and Eli Manning. Apparently Manziel wound up taking things a bit too far on Friday night as well. This is just the latest story about the offseason off-the-field antics of Manziel, which are best categorized as “Bobby Layne-esque.”
As guys who did plenty of dumb stuff during college, we can certainly empathize with the concept of letting a kid be a kid. But the playbook changes a bit when you have won the Heisman Trophy. And it changes even more when you are at a camp run by the First Family of NFL quarterbacks. If Manziel pissed off the Mannings, you can bet it will not reflect well in the eyes of NFL scouts.
It would appear Archie wanted to teach the kid a lesson, but not embarrass him by publicly explaining why he wasn’t present Saturday night. Manziel better take the message to heart if he doesn’t want to end up just another Heisman winner who couldn’t hack it when he got to the NFL.
Already this summer Manziel railed against living in College Station because of a parking ticket, after that incident, reports surfaced that he almost transferred away from Texas A&M before the 2012 season. Back in January Manziel felt comfortable taking pictures of himself with a ton of cash at a casino and he has sat courtside at a few NBA games.
The kid is clearly loving the spotlight, maybe a little too much. This latest incident might be the most troubling though.
*Several members of the Rumors and Rants staff contributed to this report
UPDATE: If Manziel was so “sick” Saturday morning that he had to leave the camp, he has apparently made a miraculous recovery. According to Twitter, he was out on the town in College Station late on Saturday night:
— Clare Marshall (@MarshallMellow5) July 14, 2013
UPDATE No. 2: Since our original report we have talked to several other sources who were in attendance at the camp and they have confirmed that Manziel definitely was not sick despite what was reported to local media. They have also confirmed that he missed several meetings Saturday morning without informing anyone that he would not be able to attend. Most people at the camp assume he simply slept through them.
When he did show up around noon, Archie Manning pulled him aside and a short time later he was asked to leave.
UPDATE No. 3: ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reports that camp officials were adamant that our report — assuming we are the aformentioned “Internet reports” — was inaccurate.
We concede it is possible that Manziel wasn’t hungover. No one who talked to us specifically saw him in that state. But he was certainly out the night before and definitely late to camp on Saturday and was asked to leave by Archie after they talked. So pardon us for presenting the possibility the two items are related.
The ESPN report also does not cite our multiple confirmations that Manziel went out to the bars when he returned to College Station on Saturday night, which seems an odd place for any ill person to visit in the recuperation process.
UPDATE No. 4: Dallas Morning News reporter Kate Hairopolous tweets that she received a text from Johnny Manziel’s father saying that he is home “resting and recuperating from dehydration.”
Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel is “resting and recuperating from dehydration,” according to his father, Paul Manziel. (Continued..)
— Kate Hairopoulos (@khairopoulos) July 14, 2013
Manziel’s father said in a text message that Manziel is resting at home with his family and is not football-ready but is feeling better.
— Kate Hairopoulos (@khairopoulos) July 14, 2013
Manziel’s father didn’t provide further details about his son’s early exit from the Manning Passing Academy yesterday. — Kate Hairopoulos (@khairopoulos) July 14, 2013
UPDATE NO. 5: ESPN writer Wright Thompson, who is one of the best in the business at what he does, gets mad at Kate Hairopolous for acknowledging that we exist. Because crediting your source is bad, apparently.
Somewhere, Dave Smith has an aneurism because the Dallas Morning News just credited something called http://t.co/xh7MliiT52 …
— Wright Thompson (@wrightthompson) July 14, 2013
UPDATE THE LAST: Wright Thompson e-mailed us to let us know that he was Tweeting an inside joke for the benefit of people familiar with Dave Smith of the Dallas Morning News and not calling us out. Classy move we thought we should point out since Twitter can often lack nuance or context with its character limits.
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