Johnny Manziel reportedly did two more autograph signings
Last weekend, it was reported that Manziel was being investigated by the NCAA for allegedly being paid to sign autographs. The report said the Texas A&M quarterback signed memorabilia for autograph broker Drew Tieman on two occasions while in Florida to attend the BCS National Championship Game in January. A day later, a report said Manziel’s manager, Nate Finch, asked to be paid by a broker for whom the quarterback had signed on two occasions earlier in the season. Then on Tuesday, a report stated an East Coast broker claimed Manziel was paid $7,500 to sign autographs while attending an event in Connecticut that month.
That’s three different reports saying Manziel was either paid or asked to be paid to sign autographs. Now ESPN reports that Manziel did at least two more signings.
According to ESPN, prominent Florida autograph dealer Kevin Freistat, who has exclusive deals with the likes of Albert Pujols, Muhammad Ali, and Alex Rodriguez, backed and organized two autograph signings with Manziel. ESPN says one signing session took place in South Florida after the BCS title game, and the other was in Houston later in the month. The report estimates Manziel signed at least 1,500 items in the two sessions.
Combining the estimated totals from the reported autograph signings, Manziel may have signed his name 4,400 times in three states (Florida, Connecticut, Texas) in less than one month.
The NCAA needs proof of accepted payment in order to punish Manziel, and it looked like the quarterback would be in the clear because the brokers supposedly were not cooperating with the NCAA. But with all the new reported signings, it seems quite possible that the NCAA will take action. At the least, they now have several more avenues to pursue if they choose to thoroughly investigate the matter. Manziel has retained the same law firm that helped clear Auburn quarterback Cam Newton in 2010.