A little over a week ago in the Cotton Bowl, Manziel — the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner — threw for 287 yards and two touchdowns, rushed for 229 yards and another two scores and the Aggies routed Oklahoma 41-13.
Stoops heaped praise on Manziel, but it was something he said at the tail end of his interview that ignited a firestorm of criticism on the Internet. You can listen to the controversial comments here, via the KOKH website.
“Well I’ll tell you what, Al. I’ve seen a lot of football players, played a lot of different styles of guys, but never seen anything like that in my whole life. I mean, I’ve never felt as helpless as we were the other night, that’s for sure. You know, anytime you can go for 500 yards against a team like Alabama, what they did to Notre Dame, you don’t need to say anything else. On the road, at Alabama, that guy was phenomenal that night, and he just creates so many problems for your defense, and he knows what those problems are. He understands them very, very well. They’re gonna be tough to deal with. If they can keep him out of jail or keep him eligible, he’s gonna be pretty good. If they can keep him off the Twitter, he might win three or four Heismans. He’ll have that type of ability.”
Stoops, of course, was referring to Manziel’s arrest last June for allegedly being involved in a fight and showing a fake ID.
He later issued an apology through an OU athletic department spokesman, who told the Tulsa World that Stoops regretted his comments and has the “utmost respect for Texas A&M and Johnny Manziel.”
Just from talking to Mike Stoops throughout the season, and listening to the comments myself, I believe the remarks were said in jest and were relatively harmless. Should he have said it? No, probably not, but given Stoops’ sense of humor and the context of his remarks, I think this was all blown a bit out of proportion.