It's important to remind ourselves, every now and again, just why the NCAA suspended Dez Bryant for an entire year, if only to remind ourselves what sort of operation we're dealing with. He met with Deion Sanders—not a violation!—and, confused and threatened by the interrogation from the NCAA's heavies, lied about it. That's it. So when Dez Bryant says Johnny Manziel is getting a raw deal, it's worth listening.
The Cowboys receiver says it still stings when he thinks about how his college career was cut short. But when asked how he'd feel if Johnny Manziel—who is reportedly being investigated for taking money to sign autographs—is cleared by the NCAA, Bryant says "Hell, yeah, I'll be mad."
But this isn't a case of Bryant wanting others to suffer the same unfair fate he did.
"I don't want him to get suspended. I would be mad more at the NCAA for how they do things. I just feel like it's not fair. This is something I have no problem talking about because I feel like somebody needs to say something to them and let it be known how they treat people is not right."
"Johnny Manziel is a great football player. I really hope him the best. I hope he doesn't get suspended. I pray that he don't get suspended, because I love watching him. But as far as the NCAA, I just think they do a lot of stuff unfair...I just want them to know what they're doing is not right. They need to know and they need to understand that. Seriously, they really do."
Bryant's illustrating the Catch-22 at play here, one that wouldn't matter if the NCAA weren't so dogmatic in its pettiness. It can punish Manziel for something as ludicrous as earning cash off the value of his own name. ("The NCAA makes money off of it when they sell those No. 2 shirts," Bryant says, "so why can't he make a little bit of money off it?") Or it can let Manziel skate, and be stunningly inconsistent in light of its punishments of the likes of Ohio State.
So exploitation or hypocrisy are the only choices. Yup, sounds about right.
Dez Bryant blasts 'unfair' NCAA [ESPN Dallas]