According to a Houston radio host, the NCAA will let everyone, not just A&M, know whether Johnny Manziel should be withheld from competition either for a violation or because of an ongoing investigation tomorrow:
The NCAA will announce its recommendation on Manziel play or no-play on Wednesday, according to an A&M source.
— John P. Lopez (@LopezOnSports) August 27, 2013
The NCAA’s approach to handling when athletes should sit out based on alleged or confirmed NCAA violations is one of the most common areas of criticism. Concepts like strict liability and the presumption of innocence make inconsistent, often fleeting appearances. In cases where allegations of NCAA violations are made public but nailing them down is difficult for the enforcement staff, the athlete and the school are not really in the clear until the statute of limitations runs out.
So if the NCAA comes out tomorrow and says that after interviewing Manziel, no evidence of a violation has been found and the NCAA says that A&M will not be penalized for playing him even if evidence of a violation is later discovered, that would be a major moment in NCAA history. A more likely announcement will be that at this time, the NCAA cannot prove that Manziel committed a violation, therefore has no reason to tell A&M to withhold him from competition, although the investigation remains open.
But it would not be significant for Manziel. Because if the quarterback repeatedly denied in a six-hour interview that he signed autographs for money, then evidence surfaced that he actually did, it creates a major unethical conduct issue. And that issue would trump any reassurance from the NCAA that it is ok for him to play. Either way it will do little to clear up criticism about how the NCAA handles these types of cases.