Is a ‘Manziel Culture’ of Dysfunction Bringing Down the Aggies?

Texas A&M recently lost two star recruits – one of them said the team’s culture is partially to blame.

By Laura RiceFebruary 11, 2016 11:03 am,

It was only a few years ago that Texas A&M football wonderboy Johnny Manziel was talked about like a superhero. Headlines shouted his triumph, after the Tyler native won the Heisman Trophy and nearly every other SEC honor.

These days, the headlines aren’t so admiring. Manziel’s been accused of showing up drunk to practices and beating his ex-girlfriend. Some reports say his days with the Cleveland Browns are numbered.

His fall from grace has been highly publicized, but what about the team he left in his wake? Two Aggie football recruits jumped ship back in December within a week of each other. One of them, Kyle Allen, said that a dysfunctional culture left over from the Manziel days factored into his decision to leave.

Zach Taylor, assistant sports director at The Zone sports radio in College Station, says that there’s something “amiss” with the Aggies.

“You’re looking at two highly talented guys in Kyle Allen and Kyler Murray who both transferred within a week of each other in December,” Taylor says. “So that is a head scratcher, no doubt.”

Allen told CBS Sports that players had an “I can do whatever the hell I want and still win on Saturday” attitude that seemed to be leftover from the Manziel days.

“I’m sure that there is some truth to that. I would say that there’s some truth to that in almost every college football program,” Taylor says. “Typically if you’re winning, that’s kind of a cure-all for a lot of other small things or things that are a problem.”

That attitude might tarnish the A&M football program’s reputation, Taylor says.

“With everything that’s come to light about Johnny Manziel, whether it be true or not, the fact that it’s in the headlines – about domestic violence, about showing up drunk – that’s a big black eye to Texas A&M,” Taylor says. “Aggies aren’t happy about it, but I don’t know if it affects the university as a whole.”

Listen to the full interview in the audio player above.