Now, it can be tough to tell the difference between a budding alcoholic and a hard-partying college student. (And that’s if you don’t consider college binge drinking a form of functional alcoholism in itself.) But the reason those in and around sports have tiptoed around putting a label on Manziel’s issues is because most of society still considers alcoholism a failing of both morals and willpower, even if, intellectually, we know it’s an addiction and formally a mental health disorder.
That blurred line is the problem. When Manziel was in college, everyone loved his behavior because "that's what college is all about, man!" But a few months later, it's completely unacceptable.
A larger story here is the social role alcohol plays in college life - both in reality and from an "Animal House" societial point of view.