Hobbs Column: Don't look for A&M's Manziel in a classroom anytime soon

By By Scooter Hobbs / American Press

Apparently morphing oneself from Johnny Football into Johnny Heisman was more complicated than any of us ever imagined.

No one can accuse Texas A&M wonder-quarterback Johnny Manziel of shying away from the most famous trophy in sports.

But evidently it can be quite the burden.

Already it was looking like there had to be two or three of the most unique football player in memory. Was it Johnny or were

they using holographs?

He has been everywhere, seemingly at once, all over the map.

That was him at the Super Bowl, even sticking around for New Orleans’ Mardi Gras. That was him courtside of a Dallas Mavericks

game; that was Johnny Football all over the NBA all-star weekend.

How does he find the time?

Letterman, Leno, they all got a shot.

Not long after turning the Cotton Bowl

on its ear he was celebrating in a Dallas nightspot, sharing bubbly with

coeds and

showgirls alike, the next day turning up in an Oklahoma casino

(where his 20 years of age is legal enough) and, via his own

Instagram pic, flashing a smile and a fist full of the house’s

money he’d taken.

Life is good.

He must be People magazine’s dream come true.

Giving freely of his time, perhaps to a fault, there seems to be nowhere (fun) that he’s not willing to lend his fame and

presence.

I’d be paying close attention to the Daytona 500 today. That will probably be him in Danica Patrick’s pit crew. College football

hasn’t had a student-athlete show up at so many world-changing events since Alabama’s Forrest Gump.

About the only place where you will not see Johnny Heisman this winter and spring is in a Texas A&M classroom.

He will drop by spring practice next week, but the actual academic buildings on campus are not yet prepared to deal with his

celebrity.

So America’s most famous college

student will not attend any classes at Texas A&M in person. He will

take care of his obligations,

get his college credits in, and presumably stay eligible for

weekend work at Kyle Field, with what is known as online classes.

I would assume it involves the Internet and a reliable high-speed connection.

Manziel said he gave it the old college try, so to speak, with a test run that involved attending a real English class on

campus.

He had already arranged for all of his other school work to be done via the Internet, safe from all those adoring fellow Aggie

students.

But his physical toe-tap into the real

on-campus English class caused such a ruckus among the other students

that the experiment,

sadly, had to be scrapped too.

Fortunately he was able to substitute a sports management class that was available online and spare the campus a mass panic.

Perhaps he didn’t want to be responsible for the school having to muster the Aggie Corps to arms every time he walked across

campus.

But I bet you’re suspicious already.

And it’s open to nitpicking.

As for that English class gone wild,

for instance, I might suggest that soon enough the novelty of having a

Heisman Trophy

winner in their midst would eventually wear off. Maybe the coeds

would stop giggling long enough for all of them to conjugate

a few sentences.

There’s never been a college athlete more famous or more popular on his campus than Tim Tebow, and yet he managed to stroll

across the Florida campus for four years without any reported casualties.

Cam Newton is attending actual classes

at Auburn this very spring, apparently with nothing more frightening

than a few autographs.

But Manziel, although free to roam elsewhere, has been forced into hiding on his own campus.

Texas A&M, by the way, has checked this out carefully, and thus far it has passed muster with the NCAA, which has no problem

with online courses.

There are even reports that today’s fancy computers have ways of determining, even from afar, whether it will be the real

Manziel doing the online classwork and taking the tests. Which, if true, is scarier for society than Manziel loose in the

open field.

There are sure to be doubters.

Me, I think it’s great.

My own wayward higher education was spent desperately trying to stay eligible for the student newspaper, a task complicated

by the despicably cruel early hour that many of those classes called roll.

Oh, to have had online classes back then, especially the way the old-fashioned, in-person versions so often conflicted with

what we affectionately called the “college experience.”

In Manziel’s world, the only thing

busier than him has been A&M’s compliance office, which has to keep

close tabs on his globe-trotting.

Hopefully, even with the hermit he has sadly become, they will caution him against resorting to online girlfriends.

Just ask Manti Te’o.

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Scooter Hobbs covers LSU athletics. Email him at shobbs@americanpress.com