In a statement attributed to the family, the Manziels announced that they have hired El Paso, Tex., attorney Jim Darnell to represent their interests. Darnell, who represented the Baylor men’s basketball program in the early 2000s along with former USC men’s basketball coach Tim Floyd, will represent Johnny Football’s interests specifically and his family’s in general.
In accordance with NCAA guidelines, neither the player nor his relatives will have any further comment.
The move to retain counsel comes a couple of days after Texas A&M retained the services of Lightfoot, Franklin and White, a Birmingham law firm who represented Auburn during the Cam Newton imbroglio.
Sunday, it was reported that the Heisman-winning A&M quarterback was linked to a handful of autograph brokers, some of whom alleged that Manziel received payment in exchange for his signature. If it’s found that Manziel received payment for his Herbie Hancocks, he would be subject to NCAA sanctions and his availability for all or part of the 2013 season — expected to be his final in College Station — would be in doubt.
UPDATED 6:54 p.m. ET: In a brief interview with George Schroeder of USA Today, Darnell said his client, Manziel, is cooperating with the NCAA’s investigation. As for his client’s football future, Darnell predicted that “when all this comes out on the other end, he’ll be the starting quarterback for the Aggies against Rice.”
A&M opens the 2013 season Aug. 31 in College Station against the Owls.