An ESPN report Sunday says Texas A&M quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel accepted cash for autographs, possibly ending his college eligibility.
(Photo: Soobum Im, USA TODAY Sports)
(AP) -- Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Johnny Manziel's future college eligibility could be in question following an ESPNOutside The Linesreport Sunday that the Texas A&M quarterback accepted thousands of dollars for signing memorabilia earlier this year.
The report says Manziel agreed to a "five-figure flat fee" with an autograph broker named Drew Tieman for signing memorabilia during Manziel's visit to the site of the 2013 BCS Championship game in January. The report cites two witnesses saying they saw Manziel sign the products but did not see money exchange hands.
Outside The Lines reported that Tieman had met Manziel at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and that Manziel and friend Nathan Fitch signed the items at Tieman's apartment. The report also cites a person as saying that Manziel signed hundreds more autographs at a later time after leaving Florida.
NCAA Bylaw 18.104.22.168 prohibits student-athletes from accepting money for promotion or sale of a product or service, and the act of doing so can affect an athlete's amateur status and eligibility to compete in NCAA athletics. Outside The Lines cited a person as saying that NCAA assistant director of enforcement James Garland has begun an inquiry.
There are examples in recent college football history of trading memorabilia for cash or other benefits.