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Texas A&M chancellor rips Darren Rovell over Johnny Manziel reporting

John SharpTexas A&M chancellor John Sharp ripped ESPN’s Darren Rovell for his reporting in the Johnny Manziel autograph investigation, according to a report.

The Austin-American Statesman says Sharp sent an email to Aggie community and business leaders on Wednesday in which he took shots at Rovell’s reporting.

According to The Statesman, Sharp began his email by linking to his recent comments about Manziel. Last week, Sharp said athletes should be able to make money off their names the way the NCAA does, and he refused to say Manziel did anything wrong.

“I’ll tell you what’s true, without a doubt, he’s a good kid,” Sharp told NBC Dallas Fort Worth. “He is an honest kid, he has his heart in the right place and I think a whole bunch of folks are mistreating him and I’m not very happy about that.”

In his interview with NBC DFW, Sharp discredited the word of brokers who are looking to profit off Manziel. He did more of the same in his email to the Aggie community.

Sharp reportedly mentioned Rovell and other “members of the media (who) have chosen to declare # 2 guilty with no evidence whatsoever” in his email.

He pointed out that Rovell has been duped before in his reporting (read this and this for examples). Sharp also questioned the character of Drew Tieman, the autograph broker who was the source of the initial Manziel autograph report. Sharp may have got some information from Larry Brown Sports, because we dished the dirt on Tieman, who has a past of being picked up for marijuana charges.

“It is surprising that the nation’s largest sports channel would support publication with this lack of corroboration,” Sharp wrote.

ESPN has been publishing report after report to prove that Manziel signed autographs. They have published four reports in total saying Manziel did signings. Two of those reports said Manziel was paid to sign, while a third said Manziel’s personal assistant asked for money to do a signing.

Rovell’s reporting has been shaky in the past, but he has multiple people on record here. The problem is, despite the circumstantial evidence, the NCAA does not have proof of payment, which would be needed to completely suspend Manziel for the season. A more likely scenario would be the NCAA and Texas A&M agreeing on a small suspension as a compromise.