In 2009, he was suspended for the final 10 games of his Oklahoma State football career because he lied to an NCAA investigator, who was looking into Bryant’s lunch with former NFL player Deion Sanders, which wasn’t even a violation.
Bryant has told ESPN he’ll be mad if the NCAA doesn’t suspend Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel, who is accused to getting paid to sign autographs. But later in the interview, he added, “I hope he doesn't get suspended. I pray that he don't get suspended, because I love watching him.”
Bryant’s original point is a good one – what’s fair for him should be fair for Manziel. Or, rather, in this case, what’s unfair for him should be the same for another player.
That’s Bryant’s essential conflict – he was treated unfairly by the NCAA and wants to believe others will be treated the same way, but he also believes if he shouldn’t have been suspended, neither should anyone else.
"I don't want anything to happen to Manziel, I promise. I just want them to know what they're doing is not right. They need to know and they need to understand that,” Bryant told ESPN.
Should Manziel be suspended because Bryant was for a lesser “crime”? No, the NCAA shouldn’t allow a bad decision in the past cause another one now.
Should Manziel be suspended if he is found to have broken the rules? Unfortunately, just because it’s an unfair rule doesn’t mean Manziel (or Bryant) gets to choose whether to follow it or not.
Anniston Star Sports Editor Mark Edwards can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @MarkSportsStar.