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The "hammer" comes down

Well, that was much ado about very little.

After all the rumors, innuendo and whispers in the dark about Johnny "Where Do I Sign Again?" Manziel and his alleged autograph-selling business, the NCAA decided it couldn't prove anything. And so Manziel will get a half-game suspension and that's all for Bicgate.

Does this mean Manziel didn't make all the dough people supposedly in the know said he made for signing stuff?

No. It just means he stuck to his story, and, absent a paper trail, the NCAA couldn't prove otherwise.

Of course, the more deeply cynical among us figures the NCAA didn't actually try very hard, and that this was how it was going to go all along. And that's because Johnny Football is a mondo cash cow for both his school and the NCAA -- which was selling his jersey on its website until Jay Bilas of ESPN caught it red-handed, and Mark Emmert and the boys had to execute a little damage control and decree that, henceforth, the NCAA would no longer be selling stuff online.

But, again. That's just the more deeply cynical among us.

Ben Smith's blog.