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Monday, November 24, 2014

NCAA reportedly investigating Johnny Manziel for paid autograph signing

johnny manziel cashJohnny Manziel is being investigated by the NCAA for allegedly accepting a flat five-figure fee to sign autographs in January, ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” reports.

According to the report, Manziel was approached by autograph broker Drew Tieman after landing at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport the day before attending the BCS National Championship Game between Alabama and Notre Dame.

The two sides supposedly reached an agreement, because the report says Manziel and his friend/assistant Nathan Finch went to Tieman’s apartment, where the Heisman Trophy winner signed hundreds of autographs. Manziel also supposedly signed hundreds of more items before leaving Florida.

[Photo: Is this the man who paid Johnny Manziel for autographs?]

The NCAA’s assistant director of enforcement, James Garland, supposedly contacted Tieman in June about the allegations.

A slew of Manziel-signed memorabilia supposedly flooded the market in March, leading the NCAA to investigate. Texas A&M responded to an ESPN inquiry about the influx of Manziel-autographed memorabilia on the market with this statement in March:

“Johnny has indicated on numerous occasions and, once again earlier today, that he has never (and to his knowledge, his parents, other relatives and friends have ever) been compensated though cash or other benefits or promises of deferred compensation for providing his autograph.”

Manziel could be ruled ineligible if the NCAA finds that he was paid to autograph multiple items. According to John Infante of Bylaw Blog, the NCAA would have to find the money Manziel was paid in order to rule him ineligible. That would likely prove difficult to find.

[Related: Johnny Manziel’s dad worried son could have ugly unraveling]

The timing of this report is extremely interesting; the subject of Manziel signing autographs was prominently mentioned in both ESPN The Magazine and Sports Illustrated’s feature stories on the Heisman Trophy winner. Both stories said Manziel sought assistance from a counselor concerning all the stressful issues in his life, and he said autograph demands were the top item creating stress for him. In the stories, Manziel complained about all the items teammates and family wanted him to autograph for them.

Previous Johnny Manziel controversies
Johnny Manziel tweets he ‘can’t wait to leave College Station’
Photo: Johnny Manziel has fake Texas Longhorns tattoo
Fake Photo: Manziel’s Heisman Trophy has marijuana blunt
Photo: Johnny Manziel throws up Texas Tech ‘Guns Up’ symbol
Johnny Manziel flashes his cash inside casino



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