Manziel suspended for first half of season opener

Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel has been suspended for the first half of Saturday's season opener due to an inadvertent violation of NCAA rules regarding the signing of certain autographs.

After officials met with Manziel for nearly six hours Sunday, the NCAA and Texas A&M came to an agreement Wednesday to bench the Heisman Trophy winner for the first half against Rice.

Manziel will address the team regarding the situation and lessons learned as part of his punishment, while the university will revise its future education concerning student-athlete autographs for individuals with multiple items.

"I am proud of the way both coach (Kevin) Sumlin and Johnny handled this situation, with integrity and honesty," Texas A&M system chancellor John Sharp said in a statement released Wednesday. "We all take the Aggie Code of Honor very seriously and there is no evidence that either the university or Johnny violated that code."

The decision to suspend Manziel closes the book on the signal-caller's recent issues, stemming from an investigation by the NCAA about whether Manziel received compensation for signing autographs at different locations, including South Florida while attending last January's BCS National Championship Game.

Based on the information submitted by Texas A&M and Manziel, the NCAA ruled that Manziel did not accept money for the autograph signings, which would have been a violation of NCAA rules.

"Texas A&M University would like to thank the NCAA staff, not only for its fairness and professionalism throughout this process, but also for the expediency of its actions," Texas A&M athletic director Eric Hyman said. "Texas A&M is a proud member of the NCAA and the Southeastern Conference and, as such, we will continue to abide by the rules governing the association and the conference. Texas A&M is committed to competing with integrity and sportsmanship, and we will continue to ensure strict compliance guidelines for our student-athletes, coaches and supporters."

Manziel's tumultuous offseason, which included a guilty plea to a misdemeanor charge stemming from a 2012 arrest, put a damper on a record-setting first season for the Texas A&M quarterback, who became the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy last year when he accounted for 47 touchdowns, while helping the Aggies to an 11-2 record.

In Manziel's absence, the seventh-ranked Aggies will turn to either junior Matt Joeckel or freshman Kenny Hill.