Uncle Nate: Johnny Manziel could have made $8-10 million in college
Johnny Manziel’s manager from college — the infamous Uncle Nate — did an interview with Yahoo Sports to shed more light on what he believes is an unfair system run by the NCAA. In the interview, Uncle Nate (pictured at right) — real name Nate Fitch — estimates Manziel would have been able to make $8-10 million while in college. Unfortunately, the NCAA prevents amateurs from capitalizing on their popularity, meaning they can’t earn any of that amount without breaking the rules.
Fitch told Yahoo he believes Manziel’s value immediately went up to around $2.3 million after the former Texas A&M QB won the Heisman Trophy. Fitch was asked to estimate what Johnny Football’s value was in college.
“I think it would look similar to his value now, but in my opinion, I think he was worth more right after the Heisman Trophy,” Fitch said. “… I think it’s fair to say $8 [million] to $10 million dollars.”
Fitch would know — he was Manziel’s gatekeeper in college. A friend from middle school who became his manager at Texas A&M, Fitch says he received multiple offers each day regarding business or other money-making opportunities for Manziel.
“Eight to 10 people approached us a day, every day,” Fitch told Yahoo Sports. “That’s eight to 10 separate people with either a proposition or a means to be comfortable to make a proposition. That’s what we were dealing with.”
Fitch says they got offers to pay them thousands on the spot for an autograph signing session, an offer from a lawyer to use a private jet whenever they wanted, and he recalled a celebrity who wanted them to come party with them at the Galapagos Islands. People wanted them to join them for parties, dinners so the people could brag to their friends, and much more. As it is, Manziel has gotten into trouble for possibly doing cocaine in a club bathroom, and he also got in trouble for signing autographs.
Why did Fitch detail Manziel’s life and offers in college? He wants to point out how antiquated the NCAA’s rules are and show everyone how much they are limiting the athletes’ earnings potential.
I believe in preserving amateurism, but I also believe athletes should be able to capitalize on their images at the height of their popularity which, for many of them, is while they’re in college. Let them make their money and sell their gear if they want, but put the money into an escrow account until after they’re done with college. And the university should be allowed to get a cut of the money too. The rules need to be updated.