Johnny Manziel

Another day, another Manziel allegation connecting him to autograph signings

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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: 12.5.2.2, 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.

Half of all FBS signees lived between Texas and North Carolina

ORLANDO, FL - DECEMBER 29: Johnny Jefferson #5 of the Baylor Bears carries while defended by Dominquie Green #26 and Des Lawrence #2 of the North Carolina Tar Heels during the first half of the Russell Athletic Bowl game at Orlando Citrus Bowl on December 29, 2015 in Orlando, Florida.  (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)
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ESPN recruiting analyst Gerry Hamilton provided a massive public service through his Twitter account on Tuesday, releasing a data dump of fascinating information about the signing class of 2016.

In short, Texas was the most popular breeding ground for FBS prospects, but half of all signees came from a clean sweep from Texas, across the Gulf of Mexico to Florida and up to North Carolina.

The Lone Star State produced 359 players, with nearly half of those heading to Power 5 institutions. In fact, Hamilton reports, 72 of 128 FBS programs and 38 of 64 Power 5’s signed at least one player from Texas.

Florida trailed with 327 players, followed by California with 248 players and Georgia with 225. For what it’s worth, Ohio was not included in the study.

Data dump, begin!

AAC releases 2016 conference schedule

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The American Athletic Conference released its 2016 conference schedule highlighted by, oddly enough, non-conference games that pit league gem Houston against Oklahoma (on opening day at Houston’s NRG Stadium) and Louisville (in Houston on Nov. 19).

Those two games, more than any others, will sink or swim the conference’s chances of not only grabbing the Group of Five spot in the New Year’s Six, but a spot in the College Football Playoff itself.

The 2016 conference slate kicks off with Navy meeting Connecticut on Sept. 10 and concludes with the second annual AAC title game on Dec. 3 at a to-be-determined campus site.

The AAC led the way in scheduling Power 5 opponents — highlighted by a Week 3 schedule that will see the entire East Division punching up a weight class — and includes the likes of Florida State, Maryland, N.C. State, Virginia, Syracuse, Kansas, TCU and Oklahoma (for all intents and purposes) visiting AAC campuses.

View the full AAC slate here:

 

Former Notre Dame QB Tommy Rees hired as Chargers offensive assistant

SOUTH BEND, IN - NOVEMBER 02: Tommy Rees #11 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish passes against the Navy Midshipmen at Notre Dame Stadium on November 2, 2013 in South Bend, Indiana. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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Just like we all thought when watching him play at Notre Dame, Tommy Rees will be in the NFL in 2016. Just not as a quarterback.

The San Diego Chargers announced his hiring as an obnoxiously vague offensive assistant, assisting with the club’s offense in some form that they aren’t inclined to elaborate on.

After completing a career in which he threw for 7,670 yards with 61 touchdowns against 37 interceptions from 2010-13, Rees was cut by the Washington Redskins in 2014, then spent the 2014-15 seasons as a graduate assistant at Northwestern.

Report: Wisconsin DBs coach Daronte Jones leaving for Miami Dolphins

MADISON, WI - SEPTEMBER 27:  Wisconsin Badgers cheerleader waves the flag after the team scores a touchdown during the fourth quarter against the South Florida Bulls on September 27, 2014 at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wisconsin.  The Wisconsin Badgers defeated the South Florida Bulls 27-10. (Photo by Tom Lynn/Getty Images)
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The post-National Signing Day coaching carousel is now in full tilt.

According to a report from Adam Caplan of ESPN, Wisconsin defensive backs coach Daronte Jones is leaving to become the assistant defensive backs coach for the Miami Dolphins.

The Badgers already endured a significant loss this winter after defensive coordinator Dave Aranda took a lateral position with LSU. He was replaced in January by former USC defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox.

Jones spent but 13 months in Madison, a January 2015 addition to Paul Chryst‘s first staff after spending three seasons at Hawaii.

Wisconsin possessed one of college football’s top pass defenses in 2015; the Badgers ranked seventh nationally in pass defense, tied for sixth in yards per attempt allowed, placed third in opponent completion percentage and finished second in pass efficiency defense.