COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel pleaded guilty Monday to a misdemeanor stemming from a 2012 bar fight near campus, closing a case that had dogged his Heisman Trophy-winning season.
Manziel admitted he failed to identify himself to police following the altercation. As part of a plea deal, other charges against the 20-year-old, including disorderly conduct, were dismissed.
Brazos County Attorney Rod Anderson says Manziel was ordered to pay a $2,000 fine, about $230 in court costs and was credited with the overnight jail time he served following his arrest. He had faced up to 180 days in jail for the June 2012 incident.
Police said an officer on bike patrol had intervened to break up a fight between Manziel and Marvin McKinney just after 2 a.m. in a street in the Northgate entertainment district. McKinney told police that a friend of Manziel’s had called him a racial slur. He said Manziel shoved McKinney as he approved the two, and then they exchanged punches.
When officers asked Manziel for an ID, he produced a phony Louisiana driver’s license that showed his birthday as Dec. 6, 1990. Police checked Manziel’s wallet and found two more ID cards – a fake Texas driver’s license and Manziel’s real driver’s license that listed his date of birth as Dec. 6, 1992.
The quarterback dubbed Johnny Football piled up 4,600 total yards last season and helped the Aggies knock off No. 1 Alabama on the road. He became the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy and has continued to garner headlines in the offseason.
He has been famously photographed partying and gambling, and even his decision to take classes online last semester became controversial. Manziel said his decision to limit himself exclusively to the virtual classroom was a reaction to the attention he was receiving on campus, though he expects to return to regular classes this summer and next fall.
Not long ago, he tweeted that he “can’t wait to leave college station... whenever it may be.”
“Don’t ever forget that I love A&M with all of my heart, but please please walk a day in my shoes,” he added.
Manziel even drew attention this weekend after leaving the Manning family’s football camp in Louisiana a day early, citing illness.
“After missing and being late for some practice assignments, Johnny explained that he had been feeling ill. Consequently, we agreed that it was in everyone’s best interest for him to go home a day early,” camp spokesman Greg Blackwell said Sunday.
The headlines won’t end any time soon: SEC media days are this week in Alabama, as are ESPN’s ESPY Awards.