The Norman Transcript

Local Sports

August 11, 2013

College football may soon reveal how big too big is

NORMAN — Johnny Manziel’s attorney, Jim Darnell, told ESPN Radio’s Collin Cowherd that it’s absolutely clear Manziel signed many autographs, but that he’s seen nothing indicating Manziel was paid anything for it. 

Also, he said he had no issues with Nate Fitch, who has come to be recognized as Manziel’s personal assistant.

Now think about those two paragraphs. Maybe it’s crazy to think Manziel signed his name so many times for free. Maybe you’re inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt. Instead, go deeper.

Manziel has an attorney. 

Manziel has a personal assistant. 

Darnell has made it part of his job to influence public opinion, like that’s supposed to have anything to do with whatever comes down on Manziel. Is he working for Johnny Manziel or Monica Lewinsky?

How did we get here?

Or, put all the drama aside and consider the most basic question it begs.

How big is too big?

Texas, the richest school in the Big 12, wanted to be richer so it created a network to do it. The Longhorns chased Texas A&M and Nebraska out of the conference and almost caused its dissolution.

How big is too big?

We’ve endured three years of conference realignment and, if that’s been settled, the next big step seems to be creating a new playing field for the major conferences, a point Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby drove home at the conference’s football media days. 

Really, this could work very well, creating an up-to-date and reasonable landscape that responds to its member schools’ needs without changing the charter of Division I athletics. 

Or, it could be off to the races, anything goes and, given the mania that surrounds college football in some locales —  the new college game could make the NFL seem quaint.

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