A few weeks ago Johnny Manziel raised some eyebrows when he showed up to a Dallas Mavericks game and somehow finagled himself courtside seats. After TNT broadcaster Steve Kerr openly wondered how this year’s Heisman winner, a college kid, obtained such an expensive view, Manziel took to Twitter and offered a very simple explanation.
“Bought myself a little birthday present tonight stop hating”
Fantastic. It was a one-time thing. Just a birthday present Manziel got for himself; no big deal.
On Tuesday night Manziel and his girlfriend Sarah Savage took in a Los Angeles Clippers versus Houston Rockets game. Because all we are working with is a picture here, it is impossible to say with certainty whether or not these seats were courtside. Even if they weren’t, based on the wires behind them and the banner on the left, it doesn’t look like he was sitting in the nosebleeds.
Manziel comes from a very well off family. It could be that when he says he bought himself great seats to a basketball game for his birthday, he actually means his family bought them. Or maybe his family gave him the money that he now calls his own. Or maybe his girlfriend bought yesterday’s seats.
Him getting cool stuff isn’t the problem here.
The problem is that Manziel and every other successful college athlete has to pretend as though they are just regular kids who get no special perks just because the NCAA is comprised of a bunch of unrealistic, greedy jokers. Kids out of Ohio State who traded memorabilia for tattoos got their entire collegiate careers wrecked, but Manziel gets priority seating at pricey basketball games and nobody bats an eye because he comes from a rich family. This situation speaks for itself.
The solution isn’t to restrict what Manziel can or can’t do; it’s loosening the ridiculous grip that the NCAA has on all of the other college athletes out there who can't fall back on a "I come from a rich family" excuse.