BY LORI RAUDIO
After becoming the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy and leading Texas A&M to a Cotton Bowl victory, Johnny Manziel has gained celebrity-like status. His celebratory off-season has garnered much media attention via his Twitter page, and not all of it is good.
It all started when Manziel had courtside seats to both a Houston Rockets game and a Dallas Mavericks game on consecutive nights. TNT analyst Steve Kerr saw Manziel and publically questioned how an amateur college football player could afford such good seats. Manziel took to Twitter to say he bought them as a birthday present to himself.
Manziel has also been questioned for pictures he posted on Twitter. These pictures include him holding a stack of cash at a casino, celebrating Mardi Gras in New Orleans, and partying in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. It has also been revealed he takes online classes at A&M and drives a Mercedes. None of these things are against NCAA regulations, but have led to increased media scrutiny of his seemingly extravagant lifestyle
Recently, Manziel sparked controversy when he posted a picture on Twitter of what appeared to be a Texas Longhorns tattoo. He later said it was fake, but also took the opportunity to respond to some negative tweets he received. He replied with “you suck” to one follower as well as other mean-spirited responses, including mocking fellow Heisman candidate Manti Te’o.
I’m sure he gets thousands of negative tweets a day, but this is not the way to respond. There is nothing wrong with Manziel having fun, but now that he is a public figure, he needs to be more careful. It’s unfair, but it comes with the territory of being an elite athlete. He represents Texas A&M and the NCAA, and what he does reflects those institutions.
Texas A&M should have a publicist working with Manziel, who can show him how to better represent himself in the media and reign in his social media posts.