The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
A&M System’s Title IX director suspended after supporting Biden's Title IX changes
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • May 23, 2024
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Texas A&M infielder Rylen Wiggins (2) reacts during Texas A&M’s game against Texas at the Austin Super Regional at Red and Charline McCombs Field in Austin, Texas, on Sunday, May 26, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
Aggies’ season ends with heartbreaking loss to Longhorns
Luke White, Sports Editor • May 27, 2024

Sharper play in the sixth innings of Texas A&M softball’s NCAA Super Regional series with No. 1 Texas may have been the difference between...

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Beekeeper Shelby Dittman scoops bees back into their hive during a visit on Friday, April 5, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
Bee-hind the scenes
Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • May 1, 2024

The speakers turn on. Static clicks. And a voice reads “Your starting lineup for the Texas A&M Aggies is …” Spectators hear that...

Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
'I was terrified'
April 25, 2024
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Scenes from '74
April 25, 2024
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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Johnny University

 
 

After just a single semester, public perception of A&M has been entirely redefined. Behind the efforts of Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel, the Aggies fought their way to an 11-2 inaugural record in the Southeastern Conference, silencing critics and transforming A&Ms national image.
None of the above has any grounds for debate, discussion or dispute.
For the first time in well over a decade, the state of Texas belongs to the Aggies top recruits are doing more than just returning first-year head coach Kevin Sumlins phone calls, theyre finding excuses to visit campus. On a nationwide scale, Texas A&Ms relevance has skyrocketed beyond any and all expectations.
All this hype is due to the gridiron results of one man: Johnny Manziel. The Aggie quarterback sensation impressed voters enough last fall to earn himself a spot in history as the first freshman awarded college footballs most prestigious individual decoration.
From an outside viewpoint, Manziel owns all the characteristics necessary to stand as the symbol of this university. The young signal-caller has a proven edge hes confident without showing arrogance and creative while sticking to a game plan. He even has the catchiest of nicknames: Johnny Football.
Its an extremely rare, not to mention effective, combination.
The practice of establishing a program figurehead has emerged as extremely common in college football. When one envisions Alabama, junior quarterback A.J. McCarron might come to mind first; the same can be said of Notre Dame and senior linebacker Manti Teo or Ohio State and sophomore quarterback Braxton Miller.
For Texas A&M, however, neither Johnny Manziel nor anyone else for that matter should be granted the glorified position as the icon of the University. Unlike other powerhouse programs such as Alabama, Notre Dame and Ohio State in addition to multiple others A&M is unique, particularly when it comes to its highly involved fan base and independent football culture.
The basic ideals and core values that have stood for more than a century as the pillars of A&Ms foundation are highlighted by a single principle that consistently appears throughout the Universitys history unity.
The very essence of the 12th Man is grounded in the roots of the word. The student body at A&M even takes it one step further, boasting a distinctly unusual attribute in that they feel accountable for the actual success or failure of their team. Other home fields have no such sense of responsibility.
Granting a single individual such a high commendation as figurehead would not only serve to depreciate other Aggies value but would isolate Manziel from the very entity he plays for every Saturday.
During Manziels Heisman acceptance speech, the freshman phenom himself solidified the importance and presence of unity at A&M.
I believe the 12th Man is one of the greatest traditions in all of college football, Manziel said to the nation. Forty thousand students standing not as fans, but as members of our team. To the 12th Man, Texas A&M, Kerrville and Aggies everywhere, this Heisman Trophy is for you.
Launching the Manziel-figurehead monster is just purely un-A&M. Period.
The unwritten directives that have shaped the University since its inception oppose it. The entire idea steps outside the bounds that makes Texas A&M the proud institution it has evolved into over the past century plus.
Will Johnny Football continue to receive recognition, praise and all available support from the A&M faithful? Most certainly and without a doubt.
Should, however, the young star be placed upon a silver-lined pedestal solely because he can dominate a football field?
No, plain and simple.
As the Corps of Cadets says it, Through unity, strength.

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