HOOVER, Alabama — Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, the defending Heisman Trophy winner, acknowledged off-the-field mistakes but said the incidents were far from “catastrophic.”
Most recently, Manziel was criticized for his late arrival at the Manning Passing Academy in Louisiana after reportedly partying the night before. The Manning camp said Manziel was excused because he was ill.
The incident was minor, but as “Johnny Football” has morphed into a celebrity, the alleged disrespect to the Manning family has attracted significant attention.
Manziel, who is 20, said there were “social events” at the Manning camp but that he did not miss the next day’s events because he was hung over.
Manziel said his phone died and he overslept. Beyond that, he didn’t want to go into details.
“There’s no question he’s made some mistakes,” said Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin. “He’s made some good decisions and some bad decisions. Unfortunately the poor decisions are the ones publicized.”
On social media:
Manziel says he's spent a lot of time reflecting on his decisions with his spiritual advisor, Tyler Bray's Tattoo.
— sir broosk (@celebrityhottub) July 17, 2013
Every NFL team that talks itself out of Johnny Manziel (too small, not enough arm, runs and "parties" too much) will make a huge mistake.
— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) July 16, 2013
Manziel is an example of changing times. Kenny Stabler once played vs. Vandy while smoking Camels. With a broken pool cue in his thigh.
— Cecil Hurt (@CecilHurt) July 17, 2013
This tweet destroyed my irony fountain. RT @schadjoe: Johnny Manziel: At times things are blown out of proportion
— edsbs (@edsbs) July 17, 2013
Manziel, when asked about drinking at the Manning Camp, answered "We had social events." Translation: "We didn't play Scrabble."
— Andrew Brandt (@adbrandt) July 17, 2013
"Coach Sumlin, how do you respond to allegations that you have 21 starters on your football team who are NOT Johnny Manziel?"
— Holly Anderson (@HollyAnderson) July 17, 2013