I was reading the news during lunch, and this sentence in a sports article about Johnny Manziel jumped out at me:
The Texas A&M product completed 147 of 258 passes for 1,675 yards with seven touchdowns and seven interceptions.
After thinking about it, I believe the author's intention was to say "Manziel, the product of the Texas A&M football program, completed...". That would mean that his ability as a football player was shaped or demonstrated by playing for Texas A&M.
However, my first impression was that the author was intentionally disrespecting the player by calling him a product because his bad behavior off of the playing field has caused his team a lot of grief. Manziel never graduated from Texas A&M, so we can't say something like "The Texas A&M graduate" and be accurate. This may have been a way to stay below the number of characters or words allowed for the article.
Is this just ambiguous wording and perfectly acceptable, or is the phrase "the product of X" not able to be rephrased "X product" without changing the meaning?
I think "Texas A&M product", which seems like a possessive relationship, is different from "product of Texas A&M", which seems like "a result of" relationship, but I don't have any grammatical foundation for it.