College students taking classes online is commonplace, and Johnny Manziel joined the party by taking a heavy load of sports management courses online this spring -- to the ire of some college football traditionalists.
That will likely change come football season.
A source close to Manziel said the Texas A&M star quarterback will take most or all of his classes on campus in the fall because of the way his major is set up.
Texas A&M sports management offers up to 11 online classes, some of which are in a “professional” phase available later in the curriculum, according to the school's department of health and kinesiology office, which oversees sports management.
Manziel, in his second year of college, apparently is reaching his online threshold for now.
Texas A&M vice president of marketing/communications Jason Cook said he's unauthorized to discuss Manziel's course work.
“Higher education is evolving rapidly. Online courses are an example of that,” Cook said.
Manziel told the San Antonio Express-News two weeks ago that attending a small class of 20 to 25 students “kind of turned into more of a big deal than I thought.” Taking online courses helps him avoid the fuss surrounding the “Johnny Football” presence.
In the fall, Manziel will need to be on campus anyway because of practices.
A Southeastern Conference spokesman said the league only limits the number of courses that athletes take from another school (six), not attendance within the primary school's course load.
If online classes are available to anyone, football stars have the right to take them. That doesn't mean concerns don't exist.
“What online courses do provide is an opportunity to complete course work,” said Jennifer Fraser, NCAA director of academic and membership affairs. “The concern is they are not getting the same level of preparation.”