Heisman winner Johnny Manziel will take online classes this semester.
One of the major benefits of online education is that it allows individuals to complete their college courses on their own schedule and in the privacy of their own homes, and no one knows this better than Heisman winner Johnny Manziel. The Texas A&M quarterback recently announced that this semester, he will exclusively take online courses, which only mandate that he comes to campus for non-athletic activities once a month, Mashable reports.
Manziel originally planned to take an English class on campus, but the national fame he received from being the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy simply made it too difficult for him to study as a normal college student. Given his notoriety, Manziel said he felt it would be a good time for him to enter the realm of online education.
Texas A&M receivers coach David Beaty told the San Antonio Express-News that after seeing how the campus has responded to Manziel's recent fame, he can understand why the football player wants to study online.
"Just knowing what his life has been like since that day, I can't imagine how he could get from class to class," Beaty said. "The Heisman is a great deal, and nobody appreciates it more than Johnny. But it's just the procedure of getting from class to class, and Johnny is such a humble guy, he doesn't want to tell anybody, 'No.'"
Still, not everyone has been as accepting of Manziel's decision, as it raises the multifaceted question of whether college athletes should be allowed to take online courses.
Although online education is becoming increasingly popular among college students like Manziel, only 29% of Americans feel online courses offer an equal value compared with on-campus classes, an August 2011 Pew Research Center survey shows. Based on this figure, it may come as no surprise that some individuals are questioning whether Manziel can truly be considered a "student-athlete" if he only takes online courses.
The quarterback has been in touch with compliance officials at Texas A&M to ensure his class schedule meets NCAA regulations, but so far he has not been dissuaded from becoming an online learner, ESPN reports. For now, Manziel is trying to keep his head up and ignore the negative comments from those who do not support his academic choice.
"People are going to say what they want regardless," he told ESPN. "Just like I have my opinion on people ... you're just going to be scrutinized by some people regardless of what you do and you can't please everybody."