Johnny Manziel

Another day, another Manziel allegation connecting him to autograph signings


It had been a whole four days since anything related to the NCAA investigation of Johnny Manziel came up, so we were probably due.

ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” reported Monday night that the Heisman Trophy winner is connected to another pair of autograph sessions: one in South Florida after the BCS championship in January, and another one later that month in Houston. In all, OTL claims Manziel did six signings for three brokers in three states in less than a month, signing his name to various pieces of memorabilia a whopping 4,400 times.

Like all previous reports, there is no evidence of money being exchanged between Manziel and a broker. In fact, OTL’s latest piece never mentions Manziel receiving payments for the two newly reported sessions, in which he allegedly signed around 1,500 pieces of memorabilia per session.

But while trying to pin down a money trail remains an important part of investigating Manziel, it’s possible the redshirt sophomore could face consequences for violating another NCAA bylaw:, which requires a student-athlete to make every effort to stop the sale of products featuring his or her likeness. It may be a laughable rule, but it’s a rule nonetheless. Signing over 4,000 autographs in a month (or a even a modest 1,500 autographs) for multiple brokers (allegedly) would imply Manziel had absolutely no intention of preventing the sale of those items.

Manziel’s lawyers, as well as Texas A&M’s legal counsel, however, have a strong interest in doing so. OTL reports that multiple autographed Manziel items on eBay have been taken down via prompts from Manziel’s representation.

Even other programs not affected by the Manziel story are following suit. Last week, USC sent out a release stating it had sent a cease and desist letter for an autograph of wide receiver Marqise Lee that was for sale. Similarly, Ohio State and South Carolina announced that they had found no wrongdoing in the sale of autographs from Braxton Miller and Jadeveon Clowney, respectively.

Whether or not the NCAA finds any wrongdoing in Manziel’s case remains to be seen. There are other potential avenues by which the NCAA could find Manziel guilty of violating bylaws. For example, if Manziel’s friend and personal assistant did in fact negotiate, or attempted to negotiate, a signing deal for Manziel on his behalf, he could be considered an agent under the Cam Newton rule.

With multiple angles to the story, it’s quite possible an investigation of Manziel extends past preseason camp.

Expect Oregon’s quarterback rotation to continue for the next two weeks

AP Photo

Oregon touched the ball 15 times in its 41-24 win over Colorado on Saturday night. Jeff Lockie played seven of them, including the first. Taylor Alie played eight.

As long as Vernon Adams nurses his broken finger, this appears to be the plan for the Ducks.

“They’d both done enough good things in practice last week to merit playing,” head coach Mark Helfrich told the Oregonian. “We just felt looking at the game plan we could parcel out aspects with each.”

“Of course you want to get into a better rhythm but that’s how it goes,” Lockie said. “We’re just going to play the best we can and as long as we’re winning games, there’s no problem with me.”

Lockie completed 8-of-11 throws for 54 yards with an interception while rushing five times for 18 yards. Alie connected on 4-of-9 throws for 83 yards and a touchdown while adding 22 yards on five carries. Not quite Marcus Mariota numbers from either signal caller.

“It’ll just depend on the game plan,” Helfrich said of Alie and Lockie. “I think those guys they have differences. There are some strengths and weaknesses to different areas of their game and so we’ll think about that going forward of just how the Washington State game plan comes out.”

With Oregon playing Washington and Washington State (combined Pac-12 wins thus far: zero) before a tough closing stretch, Helfrich and company have time to alternate signal callers.

SEC shut out of AP top five for first time in half a decade

Stephen F. Austin visits Amon G. Carter Stadium to play the No. 3 TCU Horned Frogs.
AP Photo

The polls are meaningless. Especially any poll that isn’t the College Football Playoff top 25 and even then, as the TCU learned late last season, even the penultimate ranking is as meaningless as the paper they’re metaphorically written on.

Still, they’re catnip to college football fans and observers. Place them in front of us and we can’t help but gnaw on them.

And with that said, a bit of milestone was reached in Sunday’s Associated Press Top 25, as the SEC was completely shut out of the top five.

That group breaks down as follows:

  1. Ohio State
  2. TCU
  3. Baylor
  4. Michigan State
  5. Utah

An SEC free top five hasn’t happened in nearly five full years; October 10, 2010 was the last time such a thing occurred. Oddly enough, two of the same five culprits occupied that ranking as well:

  1. Ohio State
  2. Oregon
  3. Boise State
  4. TCU
  5. Nebraska

Underscoring the lesson of the first paragraph, eventual national champion Auburn checked in at No. 6. Those Tigers moved up a spot the following week and never looked back.

None of this means anything at all, until it does. But that doesn’t mean we can’t have some fun along the way.