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Aaron Rodgers: I feel bad for Johnny Manziel

Johnny Manziel OVO DrakeWhen it comes to the many adventures of Johnny Manziel, there are generally two lines of thought. On one side, you have people who think he is a spoiled college kid who needs to focus less on partying and more on football. On the other, there are people who say a 20-year-old kid is entitled to do what 20-year-old kids do without constantly being scrutinized. Aaron Rodgers is part of the latter crew.

During an interview with Sports Illustrated’s Peter King, Rodgers spoke about how difficult it must be to be a college superstar in 2013.

“I feel bad for Johnny Manziel,” Rodgers said. “I mean, he’s made some decisions … I just think, he’s a 20-year-old kid, and I wish he could just live like a 20-year-old.

“Ten years ago, when I was in college, nobody was following anyone around. I could walk around campus [at Cal] and no one knew who I was. No Twitter. Facebook was just starting. I didn’t even know what my Berkeley.edu address was. I couldn’t get a Facebook page. So that’s how things have changed.”

Rodgers went on to say that he loves the NFL but feels the media has “too much access” between cameras in locker rooms and social media sites always accessible.

A lot of people feel the same way Rodgers does about Manziel, but even Johnny’s own father has worried about him not being able to handle the fame. Plenty of college quarterbacks and Heisman Trophy winners before him were just as popular but kept a lower profile. Manziel does very little to keep the spotlight off himself, so it’s tough for me to feel badly for him.

Dez Bryant will be ‘mad’ at NCAA if Johnny Manziel isn’t suspended

Johnny ManzielDallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant was suspended by the NCAA for lying while he was at Oklahoma State. Prior to his junior season, Bryant had a legal dinner with Deion Sanders. When he was asked about the dinner by the NCAA, Bryant got nervous he may have committed a violation and lied about it. Now, the NFL receiver says he will be bitter if Johnny Manziel doesn’t face similar punishment.

“Hell yeah, I’ll be mad,” Bryant told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on Tuesday. “I will be mad. But I don’t want him to get suspended. I will be mad more at the NCAA on how they do things. I just feel like it’s not fair. This is something I have no problem talking about because I feel like somebody needs to say something to him and let it be known how they treat people is not right.”

In other words, Bryant doesn’t want to feel that the NCAA treated him unfairly and lets other players off the hook. The problem is he admitted to lying, whereas Manziel is not going to admit to receiving money in exchange for autographs even if it happened. The NCAA would have to find the money he was allegedly paid in order to punish him.

“I did lie,” Bryant said of his situation. “I came back. I told the truth and they suspended me indefinitely. The way the guy was talking to me was like I did something wrong. I didn’t know it was OK for me to go to someone’s house.”

Bryant wants to NCAA to be consistent in its punishment, but he doesn’t feel Manziel did anything wrong. In fact, he thinks collegiate athletes should be compensated for their autographs.

“He should be able to sign as many autographs and make as much money as he wants, because it’s his name,” Bryant said. “I feel like he’s the one who created it. He should be able to do whatever he feels as long as it’s legal and I don’t think there’s anything illegal about signing a picture of yourself and making money off himself.”

Bryant reiterated that he does not want to see Manziel suspended. As more and more stories surface about Manziel being paid for signings, it might be easier for investigators to find some concrete evidence. That would be bad news for Johnny Football.

Johnny Manziel reportedly did two more autograph signings

Johnny Manziel OVO DrakeThe amount of paid autograph signings Johnny Manziel allegedly did during the offseason is just becoming comical at this point.

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.

Johnny Manziel’s parents selling home near Texas A&M campus

Johnny Manziel Bryan home

Johnny Manziel’s parents are selling a home they purchased near the Texas A&M campus, according to Realtor.com.

The Manziels, Paul and Michelle, bought the home in June 2011 to be closer to their son during his college career, per Realtor.com. The four bedroom/3.5 bathroom home is located in Bryan, Texas, which is nearby the Texas A&M campus in College Station.

The home was first listed for sale for $405,000 on April 28. The price was reduced to $399,000 less than a month later, and it has been reduced by $10k increments each month since that it’s been on the market. It is currently listed for $379,000.

Realtor.com speculates that the sale of the home could be a sign that Manziel, a redshirt sophomore, is leaving college for the NFL draft after the season. The Manziel family seemed to hint at that notion in Wright Thompson’s recent article for ESPN The Magazine. In fairness to the Manziel family, it could be that they’re trying to sell the home during the hot market; home prices began to surge nationwide around the time they listed the property.

An employee at Lone Star Realty, which is the broker for the home, confirmed to LBS that real estate agent Michelle Manziel is the listing agent for the home.

Here’s a description of the home via Realtor.com:

This 4/3.5 Home is beautiful in every way located in Miramont! Floor plan is unlike any other! Living open to kitchen, formal dining, & private study with great windows. Master suite has gas fireplace with extra large master bath, his/her walk in closets and separate vanities. Gorgeous kitchen with large center island, granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances and double oven. Has loads of charm and appeal with side patio and small fenced yard for low maintenance . security system and side entry garage. Impressive 2800 sq ft for easy living!

You can view the listing here.

H/T World of Isaac

Autograph broker linked to Johnny Manziel has Jadeveon Clowney items for sale

Jadeveon-Clowney-autographed-ball

Johnny Manziel is currently under NCAA investigation to determine if he took money in exchange for autographs. Johnny Football may be the most polarizing figure in college athletics, but that doesn’t mean he’s the only one whose autographs are being sold.

Busted Coverage did a bit of poking around on eBay and determined that one of the memorabilia dealers, the_hub_collectibles, who is selling 19 items that were autographed by Manziel on eBay is also selling 19 items that were signed by South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney and 11 that were signed by Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. All of the items are PSA/DNA certified and include a photo of a certificate of authenticity along with them.

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Third broker claims he paid Johnny Manziel $7,500; Manziel wanted new car rims

johnny manziel cashThe NCAA could have a difficult time ruling Johnny Manziel ineligible if it is unable to find any of the money he was allegedly paid by autograph brokers. The more brokers there are, however, the better chance there is of uncovering some concrete evidence. And now, there are supposedly at least three brokers.

ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” reported on Tuesday that a third autograph broker who, speaking under the condition of anonymity, claimed Manziel was paid $7,500 for signing memorabilia on Jan. 11-12 while attending the Walter Camp Football Foundation event in New Haven, Conn. Manziel allegedly signed around 300 mini and full-sized football helmets.

The broker said the signings took place at three different times and that Manziel was paid on three separate occasions. The dealer and his partner requested money from ESPN to release videos of Manziel signing helmets, but ESPN declined. Instead, ESPN’s Joe Schad was allowed to view the roughly nine minutes of footage.

According to Schad, Manziel could be heard on the videos saying “you never did a signing with me” and told the broker he would never deal with him in the future if he told anyone about their arrangement. The Heisman Trophy winner allegedly added that he would simply say he was approached by autograph seekers if the information got out.

The broker told ESPN that he received so many autographs from Manziel that he has not yet sold all of them on eBay or to dealers. And the best part: Manziel supposedly told him he wanted the money to buy new rims for his car.

There are now at least three autograph brokers who are connected to Manziel. The first, who is believed to be Drew Tieman, is based in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. and allegedly met with Manziel the day before the BCS National Championship Game to purchase autographs from him. The second, whose identity is unknown, is based in Alabama and claims to have met with Manziel the night before the Texas A&M vs. Alabama game in November. The third, who supposedly paid the 20-year-old $7,500, is from New Haven, Conn.

Manziel comes from a wealthy family, which is the way many people have explained how he can score courtside seats to NBA games and play a round of golf at Pebble Beach. If that’s the case, he shouldn’t need money to buy new rims badly enough that he would risk his NCAA eligibility for it. Then again, you never know.

Johnny Manziel using same lawyers Cam Newton had while in college

Johnny Manziel OVO DrakeJohnny Manziel is reportedly under investigation by the NCAA to determine if he accepted a five-figure payment from an autograph broker to sign memorabilia while he was in Florida for the BCS National Championship Game in January. If the NCAA finds proof, Manziel could be ruled ineligible. Texas A&M has reportedly hired an experienced law firm to prevent that from happening.

USA Today Sports confirmed on Monday that Texas A&M has retained the services of Lightfoot, Franklin and White of Birmingham, Ala. to counsel them on the latest Manziel drama. The firm is the same one that represented Auburn and helped keep Cam Newton eligible during his pay-for-play investigation in 2010.

As we mentioned earlier, investigators would have to find the money Manziel was allegedly paid in order to rule him illegible. That would be no easy task, but a new report about a second autograph broker reportedly being asked for money by Manziel could complicate things.

Auburn’s legal fees from the Newton case totaled more than $170,000, according to USA Today. The Aggies are clearly willing to go to great lengths to protect Manziel and keep him eligible, which they should be able to do if the NCAA continues to struggle to get the autograph brokers to cooperate with their investigation.

At this point, it appears the only thing the NCAA has to work with is an “Outside the Lines” report which cited two unnamed people who claim to be aware of the arrangement between Manziel and the first broker. There is also a picture of Manziel signing a stack of photos, though that does not mean he received any compensation for doing so. The NCAA will need a lot more info that it currently has for Manziel to miss games.