So most of the offseason Dez Bryant hasn't done a lot of talking - off the field, that is. Anybody who watched the Oakland game, or speaks with Morris Claiborne after a practice at Oxnard, knows Dez is still woofing on the field. Yesterday, though, the Cowboys rising star unloaded when asked about the Johnny Manziel situation. It's obvious that Dez has put a lot of things from his past out of his mind, it's part of the new-found maturity that was oft-discussed this offseason. But one thing he's definitely held on to is the way he felt cheated by the NCAA when he was suspended so harshly for lying about a (legal) dinner with Deion Sanders.
But Bryant... said he would be mad if Manziel wasn't suspended for receiving cash payments for signing autographs, as has been alleged in numerous reports of late.
"Hell yeah, I’ll be mad," Bryant said. "I will be mad. But I don’t want him to get suspended. I will be mad more at the NCAA on 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 him and let it be known how they treat people is not right."
Dez is conflicted, on one hand he doesn't want Manziel to be suspended because he feels Manziel has done nothing wrong. On the other hand, if they don't suspend Manziel, Dez feels like the NCAA is unfair in how it dishes out punishment. Mostly, Dez is still clearly ticked-off at the NCAA.
How do you fix this problem? Pay the players, says Dez.
"I feel like they should," Bryant said. "I feel like players in the NCAA should. Those fans are coming out to watch them and support them. When they’re in college, it’s different. You don’t get paid like the NFL get paid. I think what would be OK would be to have just a little bit of money in your pocket. It’s hard in college. You’ve got to get a job [in the offseason] if you can. You’ve got to practice. It’s just hard."
In the specific case of Manziel, Bryant thinks he should be able to capitalize off of his own autograph.
"Yes. He should be able to," Bryant said. "He should be able to sign as many autographs and make as much money as he wants, because it’s his name. I feel like he’s the one who created it. He should be able to do whatever he feels as long as it’s legal and I don’t think there’s anything illegal about signing a picture of yourself and making money off himself. Shoot, the NCAA is making money off of it when they’re selling those No. 2 shirts. Why can’t he make a little bit of money off of it?"
It's a good point. So what do you say BTB, should athletes in college be able to make some money off of participating in sports? The colleges sure make a ton of money off it, but they do give out free educations in return. It's a tough issue to resolve.
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