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Unlike other incidents, Manziel’s potential NCAA issue actually affects his future

O Brien Award Manziel Football AP

Johnny Manziel, as far as any of us know right now, may or may not have signed a hell of a lot of memorabilia in exchange for money.

If he didn’t — Manziel has apparently relayed as much, and on numerous occasions, to Texas A&M before — then this will turn into another story that appears to vilify the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, whose exposure has exploded to phenomenal heights over the past several months.

If he did and he’s caught, then his eligibility for part or all of the 2013 season would come into serious question. All for doing what he should be allowed to do no matter how well-off he and his family are: profit off his name and signature.

Plenty of other people are allowed to profit off Manziel’s talent and hard work. When an A&M fan purchases a No. 2 jersey, they’re choosing Manziel over any other number available because of what he’s done. Whichever company made that jersey sees the revenue, while Manziel doesn’t see a dime. When EA Sports and Collegiate Licensing Company work together to create a Texas A&M quarterback who’s six feet tall, 200 pounds and rates among the best players in the country for their video game franchise, they eventually profit off a replicated, digital Manziel. When a television company broadcasts an A&M game, they’ll profit off the excitement that Manziel brings to a football field.

Even a random Joe Fan tried to profit off Manziel’s “Johnny Football” persona before Manziel’s LLC, JMAN2 Enterprises, stepped in earlier this year.

It’s a horrific model, and if the Ed O’Bannon plaintiffs get their way, active student-athlete in men’s basketball and football will one day be allowed to receive a cut every time someone else uses their name, image or likeness.

But, as of right now, NCAA rules dictate that an athlete can’t receive extra benefits or profit off their name. And I’m certain Manziel’s well aware of those rules.

So if the NCAA exercises its resources and finds Manziel was paid in exchange for signing some pictures or helmets, well, he has to accept not only whatever inevitable suspension he’ll receive, but own that he knowingly broke the rules no matter how asinine they are. Don’t think it’s a slam dunk that Manziel could cheat the system and work through his parents or friends, either. Although parents don’t have to cooperate with the NCAA like Manziel does as a current student-athlete, if the NCAA finds that Manziel’s parents or a friend received benefits on his behalf, the NCAA could enforce the Cam Newton rule, which expands the circle of who’s responsible in such an instance.

Manziel is, by all accounts, an engaging and likable guy. But he doesn’t cater to anyone’s standards, and he doesn’t apologize for it. Those are qualities that actually make Manziel fun to follow and, from a personal standpoint, easy to root for. It’s also what gets him in trouble from time to time. Most of that trouble is harmless and has no direct influence on how he interacts with his teammates and coaches or prepares for a game. But accepting money for autographs would be an obviously different situation.

Where a suspension for doing so could hurt Manziel the most is his future in the NFL. Pro clubs don’t necessarily care that Manziel (allegedly) profited from his name, just like they don’t care that he vents over Twitter about a parking ticket or gets kicked out of a frat party. Rather, they care about how he improves his game and his potential value to the organization.

The primary knocks on Manziel are his size and the fact that he’s only played one year in college. There’s plenty of intrigue about Manziel as a pro prospect, but simply put, there just aren’t a lot of reps of him to scout. If Manziel misses a considerable amount of time in 2013, and there aren’t many people lately who feel Manziel plans on staying in College Station past that point, then he hasn’t done much to help his draft stock. In that case, he may have to come back for 2014.

It would be an ironic result for a player whose identity is so awesomely anti-NCAA.

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37 Responses to “Unlike other incidents, Manziel’s potential NCAA issue actually affects his future”
  1. mediocrebob says: Aug 4, 2013 8:10 PM

    Haha awesome.

  2. kiopta1 says: Aug 4, 2013 8:19 PM

    Man has the world in his hands and he is blowing it.

  3. kiopta1 says: Aug 4, 2013 8:20 PM

    Wonder if NCAA will blow it again also.

  4. canetic says: Aug 4, 2013 8:28 PM

    I will reserve comment until he makes an idiotic tweet later tonight

  5. 10kmp says: Aug 4, 2013 8:45 PM

    Grade A, class 1 dope. This guy gets more arrogant and more annoying with each passing inane situation. Good lord is this goofball’s act is wearing thin. Just go away..

  6. barkleyblows says: Aug 4, 2013 8:48 PM

    A&M should get a post season ban, loss of scholarships, and atleast a 3 year probation period. Seems fair. Pretty sure a different school got that a couple years ago.

  7. barkleyblows says: Aug 4, 2013 8:58 PM

    SEC SEC SEC!!!!

  8. lbijake says: Aug 4, 2013 9:13 PM

    Gotta love the NCAA investigating Manzeil on this matter and fight the O’Bannon lawsuit at the same time. No wonder Emmert is TOAST.

  9. dcroz says: Aug 4, 2013 9:27 PM

    It is easy to show that Manziel signed a ton of stuff in Miami that later found its way onto eBay; what’s going to be much harder to prove is that he was compensated for it in any way. Of the three sources Outside The Lines cited, two said they saw Manziel signing the items, but none said they witnessed any monetary exchange. Unless the NCAA can prove it, then this becomes another Cam Newton situation with lots of smoke but no visible fire, with nothing coming of it in the end.

  10. 4512dawg4512 says: Aug 4, 2013 9:29 PM

    SMH, the SEC is full of screw ups

  11. hotlantalaw says: Aug 4, 2013 9:47 PM

    I hope he is thrown out of college football

  12. fulfathomfive says: Aug 4, 2013 10:10 PM

    “while Manziel doesn’t see a dime.” — Its called a free college education. Its also a free interview to make millions of dollars one day in the pros. All STUDENT athletes know the rules, the rewards out-way the money.

  13. thefiesty1 says: Aug 4, 2013 10:10 PM

    Way to blow it! Ineligible with a couple of years to go.

  14. lakerslegacy2432 says: Aug 4, 2013 10:24 PM

    NCAA need to let these guys make a little money with they greedy asses

  15. bonfire85 says: Aug 4, 2013 10:36 PM

    These accusations are as serious as can be.
    If Manziel did to this, then he will never see the lights of Kyle Field again. If he did not do this, then you can expect a LOT of blowback from Texas A&M against ESPN and anyone else involved with this possible slander.

    Texas A&M football is greater than Manziel, but if Manziel is someone being singled out because he is exceptional, then expect the red ass anger of Aggieland.

    Time will tell, soon.

  16. mpzz says: Aug 4, 2013 10:46 PM

    “Manziel is, by all accounts, an engaging and likable guy. But he doesn’t cater to anyone’s standards, and he doesn’t apologize for it. Those are qualities that actually make Manziel fun to follow and, from a personal standpoint, easy to root for.”
    The only account I’ve seen that claims this punk is likeable is the above. He’s not even attending classes and is so stupid he constantly posts his underage drinking escapades on the net.
    As far as profiting from his likeness, everytime I walk anywhere in a city I’m being continuously filmed and I don’t make any money off of that either.

  17. bonfire85 says: Aug 4, 2013 10:53 PM

    The only punk here is you because you pass judgement without verifiable facts.

  18. beavertonsteve says: Aug 4, 2013 11:54 PM

    Wish I had $500 on A & M under 9.5 wins

  19. suprmous says: Aug 5, 2013 1:17 AM

    Just sain …… What if the real kid’s rebellin against the system? He may be doin all of these off the wall stunts to find his own identity under all of those layers of what his parents have raised him to be, what his branch of Society says he should be, and last but not least what’s expected out of him from A&M due to his parents perception. Ok, so as a female I don’t know what it’s like to be a guy but with the 3 I grew up I do know what testoserone does to you guys. And believe i or not sometimes it ain’t pretty.

  20. mgmac says: Aug 5, 2013 6:38 AM

    barkleyblows wrote – A&M should get a post season ban, loss of scholarships, and at least a 3 year probation period. Seems fair. Pretty sure a different school got that a couple years ago.

    why should A&M be punished at this point? They have not played a game since this reportedly happened. This happened AFTER the season barkleyblows – you are an idiot.

  21. tominma says: Aug 5, 2013 7:08 AM

    This points out the hypocrisy of the NCAA. They and all kinds of people making 10s of millions from the sport yet most of the kids don’t see a dime.

    There’s something about it that’s unfair and exploitive. Most kids don’t make it to the NFL, nor are many even qualified to be successful in college academics.

    Maybe the NCAA should in fact become the minor leagues for the NFL and NBA.

  22. raiderufan says: Aug 5, 2013 7:21 AM

    “As far as profiting from his likeness, everytime I walk anywhere in a city I’m being continuously filmed and I don’t make any money off of that either.”

    Neither do the people filming. You’re scenario has the 2 parties at $0 with some useless film in the end….Manziel’s scenario has him losing his college career over using his signature for a few grand while the NCAA pockets millions upon millions from his likeness. HIS likeness…not the NCAA’s. His. See the difference?

    That said, the rule is very clear and I’m not an NCAA athelete but I do know that’s not allowed. He would have blatantly and purposly broken this rule if that’s the case and that’s unacceptable.

    It’s gonna be a while before another Freshman wins the Heisman.

  23. gorilladunk says: Aug 5, 2013 7:24 AM

    This story explains why Manziel’s dad went after A&M in the WrightThompson story. He complained about all the money that A&M, Sumlin and the NCAA made off his son while Johnny F. got nothing.
    Hmmm……….. Also explains why the Manziel clan think the rules are for the OTHER people, not them.

  24. whitdog23 says: Aug 5, 2013 7:41 AM

    you fail to recognize that a college education is valuable for a lifetime. you’re too focused on a fleeting moment of fame…and letting the kid “cash in”.

  25. taylorgang24 says: Aug 5, 2013 8:04 AM

    I dig manziel, no better organization to fight than the NCAA.

  26. mogogo1 says: Aug 5, 2013 9:44 AM

    I think he’s toast. It’s clear a ton of stuff got signed. He either was paid directly (not allowed), compensation was deferred until a later date (also not allowed by the NCAA), or he did it for free (totally unbelievable…and possibly also not allowed).

    I recall past cases of athletes wanting to pose for calendars being sold for charity where no money went to them and the NCAA said “no” claiming that it being a commercial venture made it impermissible even if the the athlete didn’t benefit. And this clearly was no charitable venture with Manziel’s autographs.

  27. buryyourduke says: Aug 5, 2013 10:16 AM

    I’m sick of CFT preaching at me about the rules being unfair. Just report the news.

  28. moonischasinme says: Aug 5, 2013 10:31 AM

    You can argue all day long whether or not athletes should be paid. And it’s a great debate. But as of now, they cannot. They know the rules. Follow them

  29. elvoid says: Aug 5, 2013 10:34 AM

    Pay him? He’s getting paid.

    Tuition, room and board: $21,581 per year.

    Free promotion, training, advertising, etc. for a “job interview” which can land him millions per year: What price do you want to put on that? If you actually figured out what he would have to pay to finance that campaign himself, it would likely well exceed $100,000 a year.

    You enter into a deal with the NCAA when you accept a scholarship – and it isn’t a bad deal.

    You play by their rules, all education expense is waived, the promotional package and exposure is free, and you have a chance (and in Manziel’s case, it was a lock, not a chance) of landing a multi-million dollar job after two to four years of participation in this deal.

    Not paid? Really?

  30. raiderufan says: Aug 5, 2013 10:59 AM

    I think arguing pay for play just muddies up this conversation.

    This is not a topic about pay for play. It’s about whether a young man can use his signature and his name for profit while an amateur athelete.

    If he was wearing an A&M shirt or brought A&M stuff to sign for fans or put up a sign that said NCAA…I get it. Suspension worthy. He’s using the name of the institution he holds amateur status with to promote making money. Get it.

    But if it’s just Johnny and his pen with no mention of the NCAA or A&M…just him and his name. I think that’s a crazy gray area. Once you sign that offer EVERYTHING to do with your name and earning rights is controlled by the NCAA? Eh….that’s a tough one.

    Like I already said, the rule is there and he knew so he deserves trouble. But the rule is very debatable for use in future practices.

  31. thefiesty1 says: Aug 5, 2013 11:56 AM

    Just another Aggie joke. See what happens when they give the Heisman to an underclassman.

  32. 8to80texansblog says: Aug 5, 2013 11:59 AM


    Pay for play does muddy up the conversation but its extremely intertwined.

    Hypothetical highschool kid is highly recruited and is entertaining offers from Bama and USC. USC booster owns a memorabilia company and offers the recruit $100k to come and sign autographs if he signs with USC. He’s essentially been paid to play for USC while technically only profiting from his likeness and signature.

    I know the two things are seperate and should be treated as such, but they are so easily manipulated that it’s almost impossible to do so.

  33. 8to80texansblog says: Aug 5, 2013 12:00 PM

    thefiesty1 says:
    Aug 5, 2013 11:56 AM
    Just another Aggie joke. See what happens when they give the Heisman to an underclassman.


    Just another bitter tsip….

  34. mogogo1 says: Aug 5, 2013 2:13 PM

    Best to hold up on the editorial comments and stick to the facts of the story, CFT. Because Johnny Manziel is no Ed O’Bannon. I fully support the O’Bannon lawsuit because he’d been out of school for years when he discovered the NCAA was still using his likeness in video games while sharing none of the profits. But Manziel is currently on a full scholarship, which is a huge difference. A

    nd no matter what one thinks the rules SHOULD be, it’s very clear what the rules are right now, meaning he isn’t going to be able to defend himself with “but we oughta be able to sell our autographs.”

  35. Deb says: Aug 5, 2013 2:54 PM

    Ben Kercheval says:
    Aug 5, 2013 10:22 AM
    I’m sick of CFT preaching at me about the rules being unfair. Just report the news.


    I’m sorry you feel that way. And no.

    Thanks, Ben. If I wanted news only, I’d go to the AP. This is a blog that provides an editorial slant, and I appreciate your insight … especially since it meshes with mine 😉

  36. Deb says: Aug 5, 2013 2:59 PM

    As others have noted, this is one reason freshmen shouldn’t win Heisman trophies. The pressures of being a football superstar can be too much for any player, but especially for one so young. I agree with Ben that the rules regarding profiting from your own autograph are ridiculous. However, as others have said, Manziel knew the rules. At this point, there doesn’t necessarily appear to be any proof that connects him to payment. But he keeps putting himself in a position to be scrutinized and criticized. That’s an unnecessary distraction for him and for his football team that eventually will have a negative impact on his career–if it hasn’t already.

  37. amyleeparker says: Aug 5, 2013 5:34 PM

    Ah! The Justin Bieber of College Football is at it again!

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